Dr. Robert Dupont
Jeff Sessions’ Adviser Wants Doctors To Drug Test You
….and force suspected addicts into rehab!
AG Jeff Sessions’ cannabis policy adviser is no other than Dr. Robert DuPont, a seasoned War on Drugs veteran who spent much of his career spreading the myth that cannabis is the Gateway Drug.
DuPont advised Sessions that doctors should force patients, whom they think may be addicted to drugs, into rehab – against their will. DuPont is recognized as a “top adviser” in cannabis policy, and has been for a long time now. Last December, he attended a meeting with Sessions where he broached the dangers of driving stoned; which DuPont admitted to the Daily Beast. DuPont was part of a few drug policy experts who were invited by Sessions to attend a meeting regarding federal options for the legalization of state cannabis laws, which was held right before California legalized recreational use.
DuPont began his career back in the 1970’s, when he was first an advocate for decriminalizing cannabis possession. He was also responsible for launching the first methadone treatment program for heroin addiction in Washington. DuPont was also the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, but because of his never-ending radical mindset he was forced to resign in 1978.
However, come the 80’s, he turned the other way and started popularizing the Gateway Drug myth. In 2010, he helped author a bill requiring cops to test anyone who was suspected of driving under the influence, no matter what the substance, and arrest them if they proved guilty. The bill exempted drivers who consumed prescription drugs BUT it didn’t apply to medicinal cannabis patients since doctors still aren’t allowed to prescribe cannabis but only legally recommend its use.
What this means for MMJ patients is that they still face repercussions if they are caught driving under the influence even if they live in a state that has legalized cannabis. “The fact that any person charged with violating this subsection is or was legally entitled to consume alcohol or to use a controlled substance, medication, drug, or other impairing substance, shall not constitute a defense against any charge,” says the bill.
However, what’s even worse is that the bill also prohibits the “Internal Possession of Chemical or Controlled Substances,”; in other words, if you’ve tested positive for an illegal drug when cops stop you at the roadside even if you aren’t driving stoned, you can still face the same legal consequences. “Any person who provides a bodily fluid sample containing any amount of a chemical or controlled substance… commits an offense punishable in the same manner as if the person otherwise possessed that substance,” the bill reads. In a footnote, it says: “This provision is not a DUI specific law. Rather, it applies to any person who tests positive for chemical or controlled substances.”
The Daily Beast article states that a Justice Department spokesperson was asked for feedback on whether or not Sessions knew that DuPont’s proposal to reprimand drug users even if they aren’t driving under the influence, or if this idea was supported by Sessions, they just responded by reinforcing the consequences of driving intoxicated.
“The Controlled Substances Act was enacted by Congress to comprehensively restrict and regulate numerous drugs, including marijuana,” says Lauren Ehrsam, DOJ spokeswoman, to the Daily Beast. “Further, the attorney general agrees with the Centers of Disease Control that driving while impaired by marijuana is dangerous as it negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving.”
Furthermore, according to the Daily Beast article, DuPont’s recommendations are actually part of a scheme to propagate drug testing to identify drug users then threaten them unless they go into treatment, where they will undergo even more tests. Once patients are admitted into rehabilitation, they may end up spending as much as 5 years of complete monitoring as well as be subject to random drug tests.
Last year, the Daily Beast had an interview with DuPont as he was suggesting another proposal called the “New Paradigm for Long-Term Recovery” as his way of solving the current overdose crisis in the country. To achieve that goal, he thinks that drug testing will be necessary.
“Drug testing is the technology of addiction medicine, but it’s underutilized,” DuPont says. “We want drug screens to be routine in all medicine. The healthcare sector in general should approach addiction in the same way as diabetes, and that includes monitoring. Doctors already check for things like cholesterol and blood sugar. Why not test for illicit drugs?”
DuPont refers to his program as “the opposite of harm reduction”, and said that he’s after “long-term results…and greater accountability” in addiction treatment. “People don’t understand that referral to treatment is futile for an addict on their own,” he told the Daily Beast. “Right now, the public really thinks that if we provide treatment the addicts will come and get well… that’s not true. So let’s use the leverage of the criminal justice system, that’s what the programs in the New Paradigm want to do.”
Currently, DuPont is the scientific adviser for CAM International Ventures, a global drug-testing startup. CAM International Ventures was started by David Martin in 2013, the former president of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Association. Part of their team are other big names in drug testing, but DuPont denies having any financial motivation behind his obsession on drug testing. “I find it bizarre to think that my interests after all these years were financial,” he tells the Daily Beast. “I just think, there is a financial incentive in drug testing, but the reason I’m interested in drug testing is that there is an interest from the disease standpoint.”