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Obama policy shift - one more step towards ending the war on drugs

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We've already seen some encouraging steps from the Obama administration when it comes to drug policy, including an effort to bring some sanity to the vast sentencing disparities between possession of powdered cocaine and rock cocaine. Obama's team has also stopped targeting medical marijuana patients and caregivers, and the president even repealed a ban on publicly-funded needle-exchange programs.

It's all part of a fundamentally different approach to the issue. A year ago this week, Gil Kerlikowske, the president's new head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he intended to do away with the "war on drugs" -- not only rhetorically, but also replacing the entire approach of the last few decades.

We're getting a better sense of what the old approach will be replaced with: a far better policy.

The White House is putting more resources into drug prevention and treatment, part of President Barack Obama's pledge to treat illegal drug use more as a public health issue than a criminal justice problem.

The new drug control strategy to be released Tuesday boosts community-based anti-drug programs, encourages health care providers to screen for drug problems before addiction sets in and expands treatment beyond specialty centers to mainstream health care facilities.

Kerlikowske told the AP, "It changes the whole discussion about ending the war on drugs and recognizes that we have a responsibility to reduce our own drug use in this country."

The change is long overdue, and it's most welcome.

This has always seemed like a common-sense shift in emphasis. For all the "get tough" bravado, decades of fighting a "war on drugs" were unsuccessful -- costing too much, doing too little, incarcerating too many. Obama, to his credit, is choosing a more sensible path forward, and his administration is considering the issue as more of a public health issue, instead of a criminal matter.

Better yet, this substantive shift hasn't generated much of a political backlash, at least not yet. Traditionally, reasonable politicians have stayed away from reasonable drug policies for fear of being labeled "weak" or "soft on crime." The White House is pursuing a more sensible course, and to date, hasn't drawn much in the way of criticism at all.

Are the ineffective "war on drugs" policies so hopeless that even congressional Republicans will no longer support them?

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_05/023744.php


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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We've already seen some encouraging steps from the Obama administration when it comes to drug policy, including an effort to bring some sanity to the vast sentencing disparities between possession of powdered cocaine and rock cocaine. Obama's team has also stopped targeting medical marijuana patients and caregivers, and the president even repealed a ban on publicly-funded needle-exchange programs.

It's all part of a fundamentally different approach to the issue. A year ago this week, Gil Kerlikowske, the president's new head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he intended to do away with the "war on drugs" -- not only rhetorically, but also replacing the entire approach of the last few decades.

We're getting a better sense of what the old approach will be replaced with: a far better policy.

The White House is putting more resources into drug prevention and treatment, part of President Barack Obama's pledge to treat illegal drug use more as a public health issue than a criminal justice problem.

The new drug control strategy to be released Tuesday boosts community-based anti-drug programs, encourages health care providers to screen for drug problems before addiction sets in and expands treatment beyond specialty centers to mainstream health care facilities.

Kerlikowske told the AP, "It changes the whole discussion about ending the war on drugs and recognizes that we have a responsibility to reduce our own drug use in this country."

The change is long overdue, and it's most welcome.

This has always seemed like a common-sense shift in emphasis. For all the "get tough" bravado, decades of fighting a "war on drugs" were unsuccessful -- costing too much, doing too little, incarcerating too many. Obama, to his credit, is choosing a more sensible path forward, and his administration is considering the issue as more of a public health issue, instead of a criminal matter.

Better yet, this substantive shift hasn't generated much of a political backlash, at least not yet. Traditionally, reasonable politicians have stayed away from reasonable drug policies for fear of being labeled "weak" or "soft on crime." The White House is pursuing a more sensible course, and to date, hasn't drawn much in the way of criticism at all.

Are the ineffective "war on drugs" policies so hopeless that even congressional Republicans will no longer support them?

http://www.washingto...0_05/023744.php

Finally, a policy that I can 100% support.

Now that someone has pointed out how no one is getting balsy about this sea change, we can be sure the talking heads'll get stuck in ;)

Edited by Madame Cleo

Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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Finally, a policy that I can 100% support.

Now that someone has pointed out how no one is getting balsy about this sea change, we can be sure the talking heads'll get stuck in ;)

Cleo I would be interested in your opinion on this. Lets assume you are the commander and chief. Please explain what you feel should have been done yesterday and what you recommend.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

We've already seen some encouraging steps from the Obama administration when it comes to drug policy, including an effort to bring some sanity to the vast sentencing disparities between possession of powdered cocaine and rock cocaine. Obama's team has also stopped targeting medical marijuana patients and caregivers, and the president even repealed a ban on publicly-funded needle-exchange programs.

It's all part of a fundamentally different approach to the issue. A year ago this week, Gil Kerlikowske, the president's new head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he intended to do away with the "war on drugs" -- not only rhetorically, but also replacing the entire approach of the last few decades.

We're getting a better sense of what the old approach will be replaced with: a far better policy.

The White House is putting more resources into drug prevention and treatment, part of President Barack Obama's pledge to treat illegal drug use more as a public health issue than a criminal justice problem.

The new drug control strategy to be released Tuesday boosts community-based anti-drug programs,
encourages health care providers to screen for drug problems before addiction sets in
and expands treatment beyond specialty centers to mainstream health care facilities.

Kerlikowske told the AP, "It changes the whole discussion about ending the war on drugs and recognizes that we have a responsibility to reduce our own drug use in this country."

The change is long overdue, and it's most welcome.

This has always seemed like a common-sense shift in emphasis. For all the "get tough" bravado, decades of fighting a "war on drugs" were unsuccessful -- costing too much, doing too little, incarcerating too many. Obama, to his credit, is choosing a more sensible path forward, and his administration is considering the issue as more of a public health issue, instead of a criminal matter.

Better yet, this substantive shift hasn't generated much of a political backlash, at least not yet. Traditionally, reasonable politicians have stayed away from reasonable drug policies for fear of being labeled "weak" or "soft on crime." The White House is pursuing a more sensible course, and to date, hasn't drawn much in the way of criticism at all.

Are the ineffective "war on drugs" policies so hopeless that even congressional Republicans will no longer support them?

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_05/023744.php

I agree with most except for this. Absolutely not. We do not need health care providers playing the Police now. No way. No how.


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The "war on drugs" was one silly, ridiculously expensive and entirely futile war to fight to begin with. Any step towards ending this madness has my support. Now, if we could just get our heads around the silliness and futility of the current "war on terror" before we dump any more lives and resources down that hole for a few more decades I would actually get excited.

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The "war on drugs" was one silly, ridiculously expensive and entirely futile war to fight to begin with. Any step towards ending this madness has my support. Now, if we could just get our heads around the silliness and futility of the current "war on terror" before we dump any more lives and resources down that hole for a few more decades I would actually get excited.

Why was it silly? Seems to work in every other first world country.

As I have pointed out before, your left wing / ACLU gave the police a handicap from the get-go, only to turn around and claim that the war failed. This looks like a cunning strategy to win. It's the equivalent of sending troops into battle without weapons, then turning around and claiming they are ####### at fighting. Oh wait you guys did that already, with Iraq.

Edited by Booyah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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We do not need health care providers playing the Police now. No way. No how.

When it's no longer treated as a criminal justice issue, but only a public health issue, the very idea of anyone/anything "playing the Police" becomes out of the question.

If they take the Public Health analogy all the way, it will manifest itself as screenings of "at risk" populations for addiction, much the same way "at risk" populations today are screened for breast cancer and HIV/STDs. If they go the Public Health route with this, the consequence of a positive screen won't be jailtime but more analogous with what happens today if an individual is discovered to have HIV or breast cancer. They are counseled and treatment/counseling/rehab (as appropriate) begins.

This is, simply put, a step in the direction of the decriminalization of narcotics.

Also known as, a very good thing!


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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After watching the show Intervention, addiction to narcotics is clearly not some walk in the park.

What those people are going through will increase 100 fold. After all, what else will people living in small town / middle America have to do apart from get high.

Edited by Booyah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Have you guys seen the dumbazzes in this country? Do you want to give them access to drugs? Their IQ will fail to levels of a rock.

The decriminalization of some narcotics has occurred in various European countries and in Canada, and there has been no documented rise in use of these products.

After watching the show Intervention, addiction to narcotics is clearly not some walk in the park.

Ha, nice edit.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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The decriminalization of some narcotics has occurred in various European countries and in Canada, and there has been no documented rise in use of these products.

Ha, nice edit.

Hehehe..

Apple with oranges. You guys have xx fold greater narcotics use per capita when compared to them, yet you think your usage will drop with legalization.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Why was it silly? Seems to work in every other first world country.

What works? The "war on drugs"? They don't exactly fight any such war in Europe. Their approach: less criminalization and more prevention and rehabilitation. That's not exactly a war, it's a winning strategy.

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Apple with oranges. You guys have xx fold greater narcotics use per capita when compared to them, yet you think your usage will drop with legalization.

No, but it won't rise. And we'll spend less money on incarcerating people that ought not to be incarcerated. Decriminalizing drug use - aside from freeing up loads of cash - also opens doors for outreach and rehabilitation programs that have been shown to be more successful than locking people up.

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BTW - if there is no longer a hefty cost burden to anyone wishing to sell narcotics, this drives the price down and puts those Mexican cartels right out of business. It also means we in the US no longer spend gazillions of dollars hunting them down and putting every college kid who was stupid enough to get caught in jail. Instead, we can use those dollars to treat drug use as a medical problem. Sounds good to me.

Of course, I shudder to think what those Mexican cartels, flush with cash and weaponry from a long and successful (for them) war on drugs does with their assets. Deploy them against the Mexican state, I imagine. Sucks for them.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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BTW - if there is no longer a hefty cost burden to anyone wishing to sell narcotics, this drives the price down and puts those Mexican cartels right out of business.

Bingo! That's one of the biggest benefits of legalizing drugs. You'd pull the rug right from under their feet.

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