Mike Riggs nails it with his description of the love-fest given to the Obama drug war by the Center for American Progress today: How the Obama Administration Plans to Convince Progressives That it Ended the War on Drugs
Step 1: Say that the drug war is over.
Step 2: Convince the largest and most powerful progressive think tank in America to agree with you, invite you to their headquarters, praise you for having “transformed” drug policy in the United States, and pitch you softball questions.
Step 3: Repeat step 1.
Based on an excellent question asked by Scott Morgan and ignored by Kerlikowske, Riggs hits a very important point that I’ve been wanting to talk about (and will soon at some length) …
Here’s the thing: The words “compulsory treatment” may not appear anywhere in the 2012 Drug Control Strategy report, but it’s nevertheless an inherent aspect of Obama’s supposed shift to a public health approach. Every single alternative to incarceration proposed by the Obama administration–from drug courts to prison rehab programs to family doctor-catalyzed interventions–features some form of compulsory addiction treatment. This is the tradeoff Americans will soon be forced to make: Government-mandated counseling instead of jail time.
That Kerlikowske whiffed on this question is incredible. It means that although the Obama administration thinks compulsory treatment is better than jail time, it’s afraid to come out and say that. Let me repeat that: The Obama administration is unwilling to talk publicly about the central plank of its drug policy platform.