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Why Tom Marino Won't be Confirmed as Drug Czar by the U.S. SenateMarianne Skolek-Perez Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter
Marino's support of Trump in 2016 presidential election may have played into his appointment by the President as Drug Czar
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - President Trump announced that he was nominating Rep. Tom Marino (R) of Pennsylvania to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy for the second time.
Marino had cited personal reasons for turning down the prestigious position several months ago. His personal reasons "resolved" themselves and Marino was appointed for a second time by Trump. That appointment is now in the U.S. Senate for confirmation.
Since every state in the country is immersed in an epidemic of prescription opioid/heroin addiction and death, a "drug czar" has his work cut out for him.
Marino and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, TN introduced Bill HR 4709 "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014".
There was a provision that Marino wanted in the bill to make sure that "law-abiding pharmacists aren't swept up in efforts to bust the pill mills that sometimes consist of licensed pharmacies and doctors' offices selling prescription painkillers illegally."
It had been interpreted as a means to "tie the hands of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)": If a pharmacy made a serious mistake with an opioid prescription, the offending pharmacy would not be sanctioned by the DEA; rather, it would only have to provide a remedy to the mistake in writing.
When my articles regarding Tom Marino were published in "Global News Centre" and "Salem-News.com," a congressional aide/press secretary to Marino advised that he was going to "use congressional resources" to investigate not only me, but my newspaper editors. Unfortunately Congressman Marino did not explain the meaning of "abuse of power" to his congressional aide/press secretary. The facts in my article were researched and were accurate.
Also accurate were the facts that in 2011, Congressman Marino introduced a bill that would exempt particular pharmacies from anti-trust laws. Five weeks later, the National Community Pharmacists Association NCPA, (a powerful pharmaceutical association) and ten of its member corporations began contributing a total of $47,500 to Marino’s campaign committee.
A majority (56%) of Marino’s contributions can be tied to groups that either benefit directly from legislation the Congressman has authored or that regularly lobby on issues that come before the subcommittees Marino sits on.
In 2007, Congressman Marino resigned from his position as a U.S. Attorney in Pennsylvania after a Department of Justice investigation was launched against him for giving a reference to a convicted felon to operate slot machines.
Marino claimed he had written permission from the Justice Department to issue the reference — the Justice Department confirmed Marino was being less than truthful. Marino resigned as U.S. Attorney and the internal probe against him was dropped by the Justice Department.
He then took a position, as a convicted felon, earning $250,000 a year — until he was elected to Congress.
The U.S. Senate will not confirm Marino as drug czar as he thumbs his nose at the DEA while the addiction and death statistics spiral out of control throughout the country.
The U.S. Senate would be better served in saving the lives of individuals to this horrific epidemic in determining why the U.S. Senate Finance Committee investigation into the prescription opioid epidemic launched in 2012 was completed and sealed by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Let's start treating a true health crisis in this country seriously. Enough of the political favors, media ops, task force meetings and profiteers feeding off the pharmaceutical industry. We are losing a generation of our children. Where is the outrage?
Articles for September 30, 2017 |