Rep. Jim Ramstad's name is bouncing around as a possible "Drug Czar" -- the name given the head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican, is in recovery himself and has been a longtime proponent of treatment for drug abuse.
Along with Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), he has been an advocate for mental health parity -- the push to treat mental illness with the same effort as physical illness. Ramstad has consistently voted against medical marijuana in Congress, opposing an effort to prevent the federal government from raiding or arresting medical marijuana clubs in states where it is legal.
"It’s gratifying to hear Jim’s name being mentioned for Drug Czar," said Ramstad spokesman Dean Peterson. "Jim has worked in a bipartisan way for 27 years on anti-drug efforts in Congress and the Minnesota Senate. And as a recovering person, he’s worked every day to help those suffering the ravages of chemical addiction."
Disclosure: This Crypter once worked for a group that advocated for the legalization of marijuana. The tip didn't come from that group or any other drug-policy-reform organization, but rather from a Democratic congressman who backed Obama but was not closely associated with him. An aide to President-elect Obama declined to comment.