“So, in retiring the phrase from the federal lexicon will we really be ending the “War on Drugs”?
Norm Stamper, Retired Seattle police chief and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition makes some sensible comments about the promise of the Obama administration not to wage a war on drugs. Below you find some parts of his article about the subject in the huffington post.
Hardly. We can reasonably expect in the face of Kerlikowske’s pronouncement, an expression of shock and a circling of the wagons from key institutional forces, from frontline drug warriors to profiteering drug traffickers; from well-meaning but naïve PTAs to patronizing, fear-mongering politicians; from Big Pharma to the prison industrial complex. There’s just too much at stake, financially and ideologically, to end this remarkably divisive and durable war.
Is the Obama administration serious about implementing drug policy reform? We all know the significance of a presidential budget. It’s essentially dollars and cents representing policies and priorities. What does the administration’s “National Drug Control Budget” tell us about the Obama approach to drug issues?
In the 2010 budget, prevention takes a 10.6 percent hit while domestic law enforcement gets a boost of 2.3 percent, with “interdiction” (military and police actions designed to stem the flow of drugs into and about the country) gaining 4.4 percent. On the positive side of the ledger, treatment shows a 4.4 percent increase. And what of the never-ending seesaw battle between supply and demand initiatives? Unfortunately, demand reduction efforts (education, prevention) are down 0.8 percent, while (generally futile) supply reduction initiatives (enforcement, burning or poisoning crops) gets a 2.7 percent bump.
Still, it’s way too early to dismiss the Obama/Biden/Kerlikowske approach as just so much smoke and mirrors. The country is a-rumble with signs of change.”