Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Press Release: New Obama Drug Strategy Just Like Old "Drug War" Approach

CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or media//at//leap//dot//cc

New Obama Drug Strategy Just Like Old "Drug War" Approach

Despite Rhetoric, Administration Funds Enforcement Over Treatment

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Obama administration released its National Drug Control Strategy today, claiming that it represents a balanced new approach to drug policy that focuses on treatment over enforcement. However, a group of police officers who support legalization is pointing out that despite the administration's words, the drug budget dedicates nearly twice as much funding to policing and enforcement as it does to public health and prevention, virtually the same ratio as the previous budget under President Bush.

"The drug czar is saying all the right things about ending the 'war on drugs' and enacting a long-overdue balanced strategy focused on a public health approach," said Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore cop and incoming executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "Unfortunately the reality of the budget numbers doesn't match up to the rhetoric. Two-thirds of the budget is dedicated to the same old 'war on drugs' approach and only a third goes to public health strategies. My experience policing the beat tells me that it's certainly time for a new approach, but unfortunately this administration is failing to provide the necessary leadership to actually make it happen instead of just talking about it."

The strategy devotes 64 percent of the budget to traditional supply reduction strategies like enforcement and interdiction while reserving only 36 percent for demand reduction approaches like treatment and prevention. And, due to accounting changes made under the Bush administration and maintained by Obama, the budget ratio doesn't even take into account some costs of the "war on drugs" such as incarceration.

Drug policy reform advocates are pleased, however, with the strategy's support for syringe exchange programs and its criticism of laws that bar people with drug convictions from receiving public benefits like student aid.

"It's great to see the administration starting to talk like they want to actually change failed drug policies," said Franklin. "But we can't let them get away with claiming that they've ended the 'war on drugs' while we continue to arrest 800,000 people a year on marijuana charges alone."

The National Drug Control Strategy can be found online at http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/strategy/

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is an international organization representing police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com

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  1. I'd like to see a "take action" option here, to send this message to Obama.

    Aside all the tragedies normally cited by LEAP is the fact that we are in an economy teetering on the brink of national default on debt, and we should NOT be spending money we don't have on things like prosecuting "drug offenders" when people are losing their jobs and homes. It's criminal!

  2. I agree with Anon. Continuing the drug war is a failure of policy all together. I'll resist the urge to say something about "change". :|

  3. You'd think that the leaders of the most powerful nation on earth would have more important things to do than worry about what's in the urine of individuals. We don't need "drug policey reform," because we don't need a national drug policey at all.

  4. Dr. Matthew RobinsonMay 11, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Please see "Reactions to President Barack Obama’s First National Drug Control Strategy" by Matthew Robinson, PhD (Appalachian State University)


  5. But COPS, JUDGES, JAIL GUARDS AND DRUG CZARS NEED JOBS!! Oh, and what about ALL THAT REVENUE "OUR" GOVERNMENT WOULD MISS OUT ON with no marijuana tickets being issued!
    Our State and Federal political "servants" are a bunch of thieves and idiots!
    Why don't we outlaw taking bribes from special interest groups' Lobbyists??? Oh wait, it IS illegal to take bribes, but our politicians still do it!!!!!!!! Throw us average, normal folks a bone, LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Apparently the Obama ass kissers at Huffington Post didn't get the press release...


  7. I noticed at the end they also added more enforcement for "doctors who over-prescribe" Having been there myself, how in the hell do the politicians and lawmen find it appropriate to make medical decisions?! They are so smart, they can do that without seeing, or evaluating, the patients, like I did!....;P You can bet there will be more "forced retirement" of compassionate physicians, who try to treat chronic pain! With the new health care program, that will help a lot....;P People are going to get what they asked for...long lines and restricted care, because fewer doctors will be available, to care for those added thirty million, or more, uninsured! It will happen because of attrition, early retirement, and actions like this that remove more physicians from the ranks of the practicing health care workers!

    And I was really mad at the group at the Huffington Post! I guess they change their principles when their guy is the president? I say they have no principles, if they are that easily swayed!

  8. That facebook link posted above doesn't work for me. But a little googl'ing turned up this opinion piece, was that the one you meant? Or is there something more recent out there? Because the title of the aforementioned piece sure doesn't match the one you posted. Well, more on topic: stopthedrugwar.org (Dr. Robinson is quoted here, thanks google).

  9. I really admire this, I mean it really looks interesting! Very nice research.

    Term papers

  10. I am a believer of legalization of drug use apart from the hard drugs. But this process has to be controlled one. The administration has to run a series of drug awareness programs before making any move on legalization.


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