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Biden Appoints Drug Czar With Medical Cannabis Experience July 30, 2021
Biden Appoints Drug Czar With Medical Cannabis Experience

Joe Biden has nominated a White House drug czar with previous experience implementing and expanding a state medical cannabis program.

Rahul Gupta, who served as the Chair of the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board and is a team member that helped prepare Biden for the presidency, will serve as the new head of the office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Legislation requires the director of the ONDCP, also known as the “drug czar,” to explicitly oppose efforts to legalize controlled substances.

Filling that role with someone who has frequently stated that marijuana has medical value and worked to implement a state-legal program that authorizes illegal activities under federal law is somewhat unusual for White House drug czars.

Before taking office, the Biden administration touted Gupta’s medical doctor credentials, emphasizing that he could better lead the nation’s drug policy efforts in the face of an overdose crisis.

The White House told the Washington Post that President Biden’s nomination of Dr. Rahul Gupta as the first physician to lead White House’s National Drug Control Policy is “another historic step” the administration is taking to turn the tide of the nation’s addiction and overdose epidemic.

Dr. Gupta has unique experience in public health as a medical doctor and physician-epidemiologist who has deployed evidence-based practices to tackle the West Virginia overdose epidemic. “We hope he (Gupta) will be confirmed by the Senate soon,” the White House added.

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