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Did Trump Just Fire Drug Czar Nominee Tom Marino?

May 3, 2017
Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino (pictured above), who was widely considered to be President Trump’s choice to lead the White House Office on Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), may no longer be the president’s choice. That’s what US News staff writer Steven Nelson is reporting this morning:

President Donald Trump will not appoint Rep. Tom Marino to be the nation’s “drug czar,” a White House official tells U.S. News.

The Pennsylvania Republican was widely expected to be named to lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

CBS News reported on April 11 that, according to multiple sources, Marino would be nominated to lead the office, a move that requires Senate confirmation.

Marino was undergoing the final stages of completing his paperwork ahead of an official nomination, one source told CBS.

The White House official could not say why Marino is no longer under consideration, or if he failed a background check.

Issues from Marino’s past, Nelson reports, may have caught up to him, in much the same way that background issues sunk former Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder.


Trump Taps Tom Marino as Drug Czar. That’s Good (and Bad) for Legalization

As Nelson revealed in an April 13 report, Marino was accused of “judge-shopping” to get a friend’s cocaine conviction expunged nearly 20 years ago. Marino had also served as a personal reference on a local businessman’s casino license application while Marino was serving as a U.S. Attorney. Shortly after the reference was revealed, Marino resigned and later went to work for the casino owner as his in-house counsel. That whole incident got him into hot water during a fall 2010 Congressional campaign.

The ONDCP has been managed by acting director Richard Baum since the departure of President Obama’s ONDCP director, Michael Botticelli, in January.

Bruce Barcott's Bio Image

Bruce Barcott

Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

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  • Grow Your Own

    Time to Legalize the Cannabis President Trump and Tax & Regulate just like the Alcohol. Reclassify Cannabis to Schedule 3 on the Controlled Substances List (CSA) is a Good Start.

  • lovingc

    Tom Marino is a sleaze bag that has no business in government at all. This corrupt idiot would not stand out in Trumps administration they are all corrupt from Trump down to the talkers.

  • randolini

    Mr. Drumph promised to create jobs if elected. Ending prohibition would be a great way to do it. The industry has helped CO have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and put much needed revenue in the coffers for education in particular. Then someone needs to get on international television and ask forgiveness for the horrors that have been committed in the name of Nixon’s unholy war on blacks and hippies.

    • LanceJZ

      It is spelled, Drumpf.

      • randolini

        Thank you very much. I will remember that spelling.

  • RapeyYogurt

    Trump should appoint Roger Stone for the job… he’d be perfect!

  • NC91

    is the level of corruption among Trump’s cronies worse than amongst Obama’s?

    • LanceJZ

      Much worse. I don’t know why they never did a background check on Drumpf himself.

      • NC91

        how do you know it’s worse?

        • randolini

          Obama’s cabinet didn’t have a bunch of billionaires intent on stealing everything they could from the poor. No doubt the country would be in better shape if the republicans had not spent 8 years trying to stop everything Mr. Obama did. Worst part; they were paid over 170 thousand a year to do nothing, while they complained that the people who had no jobs because the went to China didn’t want to work. That is nothing more than right wing bullshit. Do you ever watch anything but FOX.

          • NC91

            Obama spied on us, and Holder took away the saving of thousands of people

          • randolini

            I think you are thinking about the guy who let airplanes fly into buildings in New York to destroy the constitution with a little number called the patriot act.

  • alacrity

    As long as there’s money in politics, legalization is impossible. From the stigma associated with stereotypical users to the brainwashing of America initiated in the 20’s, combined with special interests in the pharmaceutical, alcohol, law enforcement, incarceration and judicial sectors- the money is simply too appealing to keep cannabis illegal. Even now, with the majority of Americans approving of medicinal use and more than half of the States being forced to acknowledge the People’s choice- the Federal government refuses to move forward, staying mired in mores that have been proven false and harmful. It is disgusting on every level, and until we unite and demonstrate that we are more responsible with cannabis use than “Joe Public” is with alcohol- things will not progress in a positive direction.

    • LanceJZ

      You forgot banks and forest industries.

      • alacrity

        That was Hearst- but there was also the Southern cotton exchange, and DuPont petrochemical’s foray into nylon rope- they wanted the US Navy’s rope contract to replace the hemp rope in use then. They really should do a movie on the story- it’s compellingly sinister.

  • John Haddaway

    There will be no peace as long as this looney Top Cop,Att. Gen Beauregard Summner is in charge