So with the huge AP story about us having wasted a trillion dollars on a failed drug war hitting almost every media outlet this week, I was wondering when the Drug Czar would start “pushing back.” (Oh, wait, that was the old name of the “blog.”)
Well, the ONDCP’s ofSubstance “blog” has responded: ONDCP Agrees: A Balanced Approach is Needed, But Mischaracterizing Our Progress Helps No One
The ONDCP seems to think that if they say the words “balanced approach” often enough, they’ll actually be both true and effective. Truth is, it’s neither.
The budget piece is fair to focus on, but we told AP that we objected to the article’s mischaracterization of current policy. A fairer and more nuanced observation would have been: This does look/sound a lot different, but the budget scenario hasn’t changed overnight (it never does, in any realm of government) and it will take some time to test the Administration’s commitment to the new approach.
OK, that might have been nice for the AP to say from the Drug Czar’s perspective, but it would have been nonsense. What’s the point of a commitment to a new approach if you’re still asking for funding for the old approach?
It’s like saying that you’re committed to dramatically reducing your fat intake, and then going out and filling your shopping cart with bacon, eggs, ice cream, doughnuts, oreos, and two extra-jumbo cans of lard.
The Drug Czar goes on to mention some of the things that should have been discussed in the AP story.
The article did not address whether legalizing/decriminalizing drugs, posited in the story as a responsible alternative – works, or why, if it does, more countries haven’t taken this approach.
Are you saying that the U.S. would stand idly by while a country legalized drugs? With the ONDCP and the UNODC looking over most countries’ shoulders, it’s a wonder that we have the examples like Portugal and the Netherlands that we do, and, in fact, there are more and more that are taking little steps toward that direction. Not to mention that we’d have more states going that route if the feds weren’t constantly a threat.
The greater use of today’s high potency marijuana has probably been a critical factor in the unprecedented surge among those seeking treatment for marijuana and ER mentions.
Now there’s an old and tired out and out lie. Notice the pathetic attempt to avoid responsibility for the lie by using the word “probably.” Once again, for those who haven’t been paying attention, the entire reason for the surge in those getting “treatment” for marijuana is because of criminal justice referrals (essentially people who don’t need help signing up for “treatment” to avoid jail).
This Administration is trailblazing a commitment to strengthened international partnerships – witness the unprecedented global support for US goals at the recent UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, Austria.
Right. You put the worst drug warriors around the world in a room, and they like what the U.S. is doing. That’s supposed to make us feel better about these new goals?
Obviously, no one story can cover everything, but we should engage in a new discussion on why drug abuse policy is so important and what evidence-based strategies are at our disposal (there are a lot of them) to reduce its deadly toll.
Guess what, we finally are engaged in that discussion, and it turns out that prohibition isn’t one of those evidence-based strategies at our disposal, and anybody who relies on it as 2/3 of a “balanced” approach has nothing to add to the discussion.