We’re already accustomed to President Obama’s broken promises when it comes to the prosecution of medical marijuana patients and providers, so it certainly shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s breaking promises when it comes to the allocation of federal anti-drug money too. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has the story:
Despite the White House drug czar’s office saying the administration is shepherding a “revolutionary shift” to address drug policy through a “public health approach,” Obama’s federal drug control budget maintains a Bush-era disparity devoting roughly 60 percent of the budget to punishment-oriented approaches and roughly 40 percent for treatment and prevention.
Since taking office, President Obama has repeatedly said things like, “We have to think more about drugs as a public health problem,” which requires “shifting resources.”
“The president sure does talk a good game about treating drugs as a health issue but so far it’s just that: talk,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a former narcotics officer in Baltimore. “Instead of continuing to fund the same old ‘drug war’ approaches that are proven not to work, the president needs to put his money where his mouth is.”
The release of the drug budget comes just days after President Obama returned from the Summit of the Americas meeting in Colombia, where he was pressed to open up a debate on legalizing and regulating drugs by sitting Latin American presidents like Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala.
“The chorus of voices calling for a real debate on ending prohibition is growing louder all the time,” said Franklin. “President Obama keeps saying he is open to a discussion but he never seems willing to actually have that discussion. Polls show that three out of four U.S. voters think the ‘war on drugs’ is a failure and a majority now support marijuana legalization. The time for real change is now, but at the Summit of the Americas President Obama announced more than $130 million in aid to fund the continued effort to arrest drug traffickers in Latin America. This prohibition strategy hasn’t worked in the past and it cannot work in the future. Latin American leaders know it, and President Obama must know it. Let’s stop the charade and begin to bring drugs under control through legalization.”
Like Dispatches on Facebook: