Flying the False Flag of Reform – 2013 National Drug Control Strategy

The Washington Post notes that the Drug Czar plans to outline the drug control strategy today at Johns Hopkins. Nation’s drug czar to outline drug policy reform emphasizing public health

“Drug policy reform.”

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — President Barack Obama’s new strategy for fighting the nation’s drug problem will include a greater emphasis on using public health tools to battle addiction and diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of prisons, under reforms scheduled to be outlined by the nation’s drug czar Wednesday.

Well, the strategy is available online now: 2013 National Drug Control Strategy

And right there on the front page: Reform!


And all throughout, you see the standard buzzwords

“an approach that rejects the false choice between an enforcement-centric “war on drugs” and drug legalization.”

“evidence-based public health and safety initiatives”

“collaborative, balanced, and science-based approach”

“emphasizing prevention and access to treatment over incarceration, pursing “smart on crime” rather than “tough on crime” approaches to drug-related offenses”

“While law enforcement will always play a vital role in protecting our communities from drug-related crime and violence, we simply cannot incarcerate our way out of the drug problem. Put simply, an enforcement-centric “war on drugs” approach to drug policy is counterproductive, inefficient, and costly.”

Yes, it all sounds good unless you actually look at the budget and see that we’re spending just as much on enforcement and supply-side interdiction as we ever have, and we’re spending more on those than on treatment and prevention. (We spent 9.4 billion on domestic enforcement in 2012 and they’re asking for 9.5 billion in 2014. The FY 14 budget devotes 58% of drug-control spending to punishment and interdiction, compared with 42% for treatment and prevention. Link)

The administration wants to pretend to be drug policy reformers because they know full well that the public doesn’t like the drug war.

But all this administration can do is pretend, because apparently the drug war is too valuable to them (politically and/or financially) to even cut a little bit.

I’m reminded again of the line in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”:

Junior: A lot of people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some.

Yes, maybe you should. But this isn’t it.

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69 Responses to Flying the False Flag of Reform – 2013 National Drug Control Strategy

  1. Cannabis says:

    ONDCP = Feel Good, Inc.

  2. claygooding says:

    You cannot make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear no matter how much money you throw at it and this attempt at shuffling the deck chairs will only increase costs to the taxpayers and continue destroying families,communities and in the end,our society.
    Poor people will not get rehab unless the government picks up the tab,,they will continue to overfill the prisons.

    • War Vet says:

      Damn it Clay, now you tell me. Why the fuck did I invest so much of my money in buying pig ears for my silk purse business. I was scammed.

  3. ezrydn says:

    We know that the only thing leaving Gil’s mouth or hand is pure garbage. Job description, Gil. You can’t pretty it up. Plus, the public is now onto you. We’ve made sure the word got out. All it took was a simple “link.” Face it, Gil. You’re a failure. We, on the other hand, are succeeding. As the old song goes, “How does it feel?”

  4. Jose79845 says:

    Obozo will soon be gone and then Hillary the hard core marijuana prohibitionist will try to take his place.

    • Plant Down Babylon says:

      I detest Obummer and Hellory is going to make me miss him if she gets in.

      • claygooding says:

        I think Hillary will make Obama look like a crusader for legalization,,,and that will take a lot of enforcement to do.
        While marijuana legalization is my main goal it takes a back seat to staying out of a nuclear war and handing Hillary the button scares the shit out of me.

  5. C.A.J. says:

    Don’t forget the response to that quote: “How we gonna run reform when we’re the damn incumbent?”

  6. ezrydn says:

    Keyword there is “try.”

  7. allan says:

    well gosh… color me underwhelmed.

    But tis ok, this too shall bite them in their ass. The cover image is a giggler unto itself, the first line says so much

    Prevent drug use before it ever begins

    Sounds like, smells like… it is! Zero tolerance never went away. The last bit of that first line is of course the punch line

    through education

    Yeah… ok… but they forgot the finger quotes around “education” and a wink wink nudge nudge know what I mean, know what I mean…

    In the words of Tomas de Torquemada, “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

  8. yəp says:

    Nothing to see here except a Corporate Puppet, dense smoke, and a couple of cracked mirrors.

    “What of the cripple who hates dancers? What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things? What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless? And of him who comes early to the wedding-feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are a violation and all feasters lawbreakers?”
    —Khalil Gibran

    It is the Prohibitionists, a wholly malignant scourge of absolute scoundrels, who are literally strangling the Constitution and starving Freedom to death. And until the Freedom and Constitution of our once proud and prosperous nation is secured, these same prohibitionist parasites, with their promotion of organized crime, murder, terrorism, and economic recession—and who carry with them a disease far fouler than Old Testament leprosy—shall be hunted down, removed from public life, and punished accordingly.

    Prohibition is an absolute scourge —The End!  The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels, terrorists, and corrupt politicians most definitely IS.

    Prohibitionists are simply traitors that haven’t yet been Tried and Executed!

    • allan says:

      someone used the hot salsa on their eggs this morn

      • funny/you/should/ask says:

        It was actually something you posted, Allan, it lead me to some interesting stuff that contained speeches from the Easter Rising of 1916.

    • War Vet says:

      Is that you Mr. MK (You don’t have to answer that)? I loved the Gibran quote you used . . . love his work. If you are who I think you are, you’re all over the place when it comes to commenting on anti-prohibition and pro-prohibition articles etc. If that’s you MK, I love reading all your comments. Keep up the good work.

      • allan says:

        aye… he of whom you speak captains one of the swiftest qwerties in all the drug war waters. He definitely keeps his saber honed to a fine edge. And rumor has it he swashes quite a buckle… 16 concubines or so it’s told.

      • darkcycle says:

        Malcolm Kyle. The very name causes heart palpitations and cold sweats in prohibitionists everywhere. They quake when his shadow falls across their feet. His words are daggers of truth aimed at the very heart of the beast. And he likes butter cookies and the occasional scotch. Proud to call him my friend.

      • Shucks/... says:

        Thanks, all, for those very kind words!

        • Duncan20903 says:

          He’s just buttering you up so that he can get you to baby sit his kids during Hempfest.

  9. allan says:

    the second line has a humorous twist all it’s own

    expand access to treatment for Americans struggling with addiction

    Oh c’mon. There’s no profit in that… if treatment was only for those struggling w/ addiction the DrugWar Profiteers On Parade wagon wouldn’t be full of “treatment specialists” and the rhetoric not nearly so full of hyperbole.

    • Rick Steeb says:

      Maybe he’s actually going to stop the court-ordered cannabis “recoveries”– that would certainly make room for people actually struggling. [somehow doubt that’s what he means]

  10. darkcycle says:

    One thing I think we can all agree on, no significant policy pronouncement is forthcoming. Gilley is an employee, he reads the script they gave him. ANd the current script hasn’t been updated since Obushma came into office. Ogden memo came out of justice, as have all policy announcements. Poor Gilley will have to read about it in the WaPo just like everybody else. *Yawn*
    The third way crap is failing them so badly we should be cheering him on.

  11. allan says:

    we should be cheering him on

    Truly. Like debating Linda Taylor… she was our best argument against her.

    I would have shut up and gone home long ago, were I them. Oh well. Self-flagellation (think Junipero Serra) only further convinces the audience who the crazies really are.

    If the words “fact,” “truth” or “science” comes from their mouths – or as the old saying about lawyers goes, if their lips move – we know they’re lying.

    Don’t hold back Gil. Spit it out buddy. Tell us how you really feel.

    There isn’t going to be any profit in being a corporate drugwar profiteer when the drugwar ends. Quite the opposite in fact. So don’t figger on following in the Bensinger/DuPont/Bennett mode. Maybe invest in someone w/ some dumptrucks. There will be a need for hauling the debris from this crumbling WO(s)D Wall away… a better option than a) tar and feathering, or b) being given a wheelbarrow and transfer shovel and a barred 8×12 to bunk in.

  12. lombar says:

    “Drug policy is a public health issue, not *just* a criminal justice issue.”

    “Drug policy is a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue.”

    There, fixed it for you. It’s not reform to maintain the status quo, we see the guy behind the curtain.

    “Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor”

    • War Vet says:

      Yeah but if you go out and risk your life to kill the witch and grab the shoes, the man behind the curtain just might end the War on Drugs as your reward . . . or he’ll just lie and tell you if you kill just one more witch, then he’ll grant you your wish.

  13. Tony Arma says:

    Is this drug control strategy he’s going to outline going to include the long-watied federal response to WA and CO legalization?

  14. The new drug war:

    1. Congressional incentives to States to drug test welfare and unemployment
    2. drug test all schools
    3. drug test all employment
    4. drug test anyone else not covered in 1,2,3, above
    5. Obama care covers drug treatment for 1-4 above, and drug courts
    6. continue to hide the proceeds for the war on drugs throughout the government
    7. lock it all into place through the continued creation of corporate drug testing and privatized prisons
    8. spread the wealth through the militarization and modernization of local police forces.

    If I missed anything let me know and feel free.

    • as they make clear in the NDCS — all contacts with any health care professional are opportunities to intervene against drug abuse. and to them, all use is abuse, so every single contact you have with any health care professional will result in a drug test — they say it out loud in the “strategy”

      and don’t worry, you’ll get the bill for the drug test.

  15. allan says:

    here’s an on-topic question for all you amotivational types…

    If the gummint is so cash strapped that 10% of all air traffic controllers, every day, are taking forced furloughs and air traffic is quickly backlogging and logjamming, how come there weren’t similar (or greater) cuts at the ONDCP? Lord knows they could close the whole office and nobody would notice (or care)…

    • How much would it save to stop all DEA and other government agency persecutions in all legal marijuana states?

      I guess asset forfeiture offsets any gains there – don’t want to lose all that lucrative dispensary cash.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Just this week someone here posted that total seizures by the Feds were worth $2.8 billion. $9.5 billion for the DEA budget in Pete’s OP above.

    • darkcycle says:

      Simple. They want the cuts to go to visible, public-accessed services, like Air Traffic Control, or National parks, or shutting memorial sites. Why? Simple. They want the maximum number of citizens to be impacted rather than cut programs that are truly wastefull or the people WANT cut. Because, duh, they want people to percieve this as awful and as a result hold congress’ feet to the fire. If people were good with the sequester that would be just fucking awful (for them).

      • Windy says:

        Some of us (I am, for one) ARE good with the sequester (stupid name for it), and the more “fucking awful” it is for them (members of and those who benefit from the fed gov) the better I like it.

    • kaptinemo says:

      “…how come there weren’t similar (or greater) cuts at the ONDCP? “

      That will only happen if enough reformers make it clear that they don’t want their taxpayer dollars going to such agencies. And that requires the same kind of effort that got the word ‘prohibition’ on the keyboards and lips of the major media outlets.

      Beat the drum, incessantly, as we did before with the P-word, that the latest poll results point out that, not only do a majority of Americans want legal cannabis, that same majority doesn’t want their tax dollars going to organizations whose only purpose is to thwart that expressed will of the people.

      And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to point out that it is the adult, voting members of the (heavily propagandized) DARE Generation that pulled the levers and pushed the buttons in WA and CO. And that they’ll be doing the same in other States. They never bought the (taxpayer-funded) BS then, and they sure as Hell don’t now.

      The DrugWarriors are always sending – but never receiving – ‘messages’. The voters of WA and CO sent a message of their own, and any pol who wants to keep their job had damn’ well better listen.

      • allan says:

        you made me laugh Kap… thinking back to the late ’90s when the climate was not so much in our favor and words like legalization and prohibition were scarce. But then the MAP lte regime kicked in (and btw, re MAP/DrugSense… Matt Elrod, Mark Greer, Richard Lake, Jo-D have my eternal respect, thanks and gratitude for making MAP the tugboat that began seriously turning the direction of the drug war conversation, I bow guys and gals, it’s been an honor) and words and phrases began gaining visibility and more use. (And please, if you can, Donate to MAP, thanks)

        The term “war on drugs” was hardly used, certainly very few compared it to Prohibition, and “War On (some) Drugs” first started sprouting up. Calvina and her harpies and all the anti-drugnut orgs were familiar faces to the press and in gummint hearings.

        As an example, our cop in the cowboy hat first had LEAP in his signature line in his 4th published LTE, July 9, 2002. Howard is now #7 on MAP’s LTE writers list w/ 256 published letters.

        Here’s the top 10 (I’m #11) and their published letters count:

        Robert Sharpe – 2747

        Kirk Muse – 1294

        Stan White – 941

        Russell Barth – 824

        Alan Randell – 520

        Gary Storck – 262

        Howard Wooldridge – 256

        Chris Buors – 243

        Bruce Mirken – 219

        Stephen Heath – 209

        Considering that not all submitted letters get published that’s a lot of writing. When I first began I think i was on about a 10 to 1 ratio of submitteds to published. These days it’s more like 2 out of 3 that get published.

        It’s been a long slog. In 15 years (since my first drug war LTE)(and an interesting detail I noticed in my LTE list, the only year didn’t get a letter published was in 2003, the year I got divorced) we all have seriously shifted the conversational dynamics of the drug war. Gil keeps bumping his nose on it in fact – “legalization isn’t in our vocabulary” “there is no ‘war’ on drugs” etc.

        As Kap says, now is the time to push even harder. We have momentum. Swing those hammers lads and lassies! Knock that fucking wall down! Let all our plants grow – in full sun!

        • claygooding says:

          I have one lte,my third attempt,,published in my hometown paper but it hasn’t convinced me to be a writer,,I am more of a quips and daggers guy.

        • allan says:

          and since the expansion of the wwweb we’ve needed quirts, quips and daggers, and I thank you for that. But that’s the whole point yes?

          The earliest LTE writers caught my eye and engaged me because how they said what they said. We have truly been legion in shaping the discussion, shredding every lie they trot out.

          The exponential use of wwweb comments (often in newspaper opinion sections) is the carry over from LTE print presence, a shift in location but not strategy, the points have always been the same. I think the swamping of comment sections (developed to a finely sharpened instrument in Pete’s basement at his old place) will prove to be literally a death by a thousand cuts.

          Die beast, die…

        • clay — every little bit is important

    • Jose says:

      Regarding the sequester, I am hearing that the D.C. airport has not be affected. Surely our leaders do not deserve to be inconvenienced.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        I can tell that you’ve never arrived or departed from Reagan National. Inconvenience is an integral part of the experience.

  16. kaptinemo says:

    I am reminded of a TV commercial I saw way back in the 1990’s, about a big telecom company comparing its’ Internet access to its’ (much smaller) rivals.

    The rivals were dressed in some kind of fake superhero costumes, with wings duct-taped to their helmets, silly stuff like that, and the rivals were trying to get across that they could do as well as the Big Boys, but it was obvious to all that they couldn’t.

    The punch line was that the big telecom company begged the rivals to stop; they were only ’embarrassing themselves’.

    The difference here is that the Obama Administration has no shame in trying to call themselves reformers when just about EVERY-EFFING-BODY knows otherwise. Begging them to stop embarrassing themselves would be pointless.

    It’s sad, really. They honestly do believe they can fool the general public with this…when more and more of the general public is reform-minded, and knows the difference between the real deal and Obama and Kerli’s Potemkin Village version. The vaunted Warshington Bubble-Think in operation. They need to get outside of the Beltway more often.

  17. Servetus says:

    “We’re not going to solve it by drug legalization, and we’re certainly not in my career going to arrest our way out of this problem, either, and these two extreme approaches really aren’t guided by the experience, the compassion or the knowledge that’s needed,…” – Kerlikowske

    The ‘L’ word found its way back into Kerlikowske’s and Obama’s vocabulary.

    The nebulous third way being proposed by ONDCP/DEA has never been adequately explained by any career prohib. I suspect it’s an impossible ideal, like ‘drug-free society’, or ‘pregnant virgin’. But according to spin-meister Kerlikowske, it also has something to do with things like experience, compassion, and knowledge.

    As for experience, the prohibitionists have been at it for over a century. So far, experience isn’t doing all that grand for the grand tribunal comprising the DEA, FDA and Big Pharma. No one should ever want those kinds of experiences.

    Compassion? Yeah, right. Compassion for their bank accounts.

    And knowledge? We can’t go there because knowledge doesn’t exist in Prohibitionland. It’s a magic little kingdom captured and dominated by mental midgets. The midgets believe avoiding illicit drugs makes them tall.

    Yes, the third way is an ideal. It will never exist in reality, but chasing the impossible third way, or the mythical drug-free society, or trying to find a pregnant virgin, nearly always produces great job security.

  18. Summer says:

    Don’t forget the parts played by ATF. Not to mention Big Tobacco & the whole alcohol industry.
    They have always benefitted from the prohibition of marijuana & all other currently illegal drugs.

  19. it won’t be too long before the other shoe drops.

  20. CJ says:

    it just feels like to me that the general public on a whole is mighty unaware of what pete has outlined a few times here regarding the Czars mandated position on drugs. That he essentially is forced to defy the liberalization of drugs or the alteration of the drug situation, as per the directives of his position.

    I remember when that information first became evident to me and it blew me away. I think that needs to be repeated ad nauseum to the public. Essentially, an analogy I would use, perhaps inappropriate though I mean no offense, would be, say, if, hundreds of years ago a wise, prophetic, cotton/tobacco farmer had been looking out over his slave field one day and said, “man, if I didn’t have all these slaves to pick my cotton, I’d either have to do all the work myself, or, my goodness, even worse, I may have to PAY someone to work on my property!” And then thusly went about instituting the “slave czar” whose directives would include, “opposing the freedom of slaves, no matter what, or the operation or financing of studies that may indicate that slaves are also human beings, no matter what advances in science and morality may occur over time, the Slave Czar must stand fast in the face of slave reform and is forbidden to acknowledge, encourage or facilitate in anyway any discussion or action that may liberate slaves.”

    I mean to me it just reeks so blatantly of the powers that be, the drug war profiteers, essentially, at the very inception of their genocide, realizing the vast amount of police power and profiteering that would occur with the induction of a prohibition of drugs. While simultaneously, they realized as well that it was wrong, destined to fail and inevitably immoral. So, realizing that their efforts would ultimately fail, they elected to put into place mechanisms that would delay this inevitability as long as they could so that all the profits could be sucked out of it and the carnage could be wreaked. Furthermore, by instituting this mechanism and similar ones, the amount of proverbial rope to untangle would be so massive and take so long that those powers that be would be given ample time to mount a further defense of their prohibition, if not, even implementing ever adapting rules to perpetuate this prohibition, as we slowly untangle the mess and they adapt to what we do, bleeding this thing out until it’s emaciated of all bodily fluids.

  21. I.Q. Inquisition says:

    Which three fit together Best?

    Miss Piggy

    • Duncan20903 says:


      I haven’t seen Ms. T for quite sometime. Did she get busted for felony ugly in the 1st degree yet again? And after the judge said that he was going to revoke her probation if she showed up in public without the paper bag even one more time. Man I hope that the jailers used some common sense and didn’t assign her the top bunk.

  22. Santa says:

    Look Who’s been GOOD!
    Choose Three Gifts.

    Harper Doll
    Miss Piggy Doll
    Ashcroft Doll

  23. Servetus says:

    Some state yokels still don’t know what the word ‘legal’ means as it applies to marijuana.

    A bar owner in Tacoma, Washington, is being hounded by reactionaries for allowing patrons in his establishment to smoke marijuana. The local troglodytes revoked his business license, and his rip-off insurance company dropped his liability policy.

    • Windy says:

      On the other side of the coin a judge has ordered the Tacoma PD to return marijuana confiscated from a caregiver. Talk about a city of contradictions. Glad I don’t live there.

      • thelbert says:

        tacoma is a good place to live. the people are friendly and hard working. i lived there for twenty years and never had a problem with the authorities.

  24. stlgonzo says:

    OT: This is absolutely disgusting.

    Boise Police Seize Children of Marijuana Activists

    Sarah Caldwell is the Executive Director of Finance for Moms for Marijuana International. She is also a founding member and director for Compassionate Idaho, Idaho NORML, and the Idaho H.O.P.E. Fest.

    Lindsey Rinehart is the Director, Chief Petitioner and Volunteer Coordinator for Compassionate Idaho’s Medical Marijuana Petition. She is also a core member of the Idaho H.O.P.E. Fest Committee.

    Josh Rinehart is Lindsey’s husband, Director of Idaho NORML, and core member of Idaho H.O.P.E. Fest and Compassionate Idaho.

    These three non-violent, loving parents have dedicated their time, their money, and their lives to help end Cannabis Prohibition in the State of Idaho, and help reach others world wide.

    Now they need our help.

    Link to donation page.

    • allan says:

      Idaho sucks. I lived there a year and fled as soon as able. Thanks for posting, I’ve passed it on.

    • Opiophiliac says:

      Here’s another link to the same story. In the comments the grandmother of the taken children shows up to blame the victims for “putting their activism above the concerns of their children’s welfare.” (her words).

      In other news remember that prohibitionist politician who got pulled over for speeding and got caught with some bud? His charges got knocked down to a ticket.

      The charges against Assemblyman Steve Katz have been dismissed, the case knocked down to a parking ticket with a $70 fine and 20 hours of community service — a traditional reduction strategy in moving-violations cases.

      So a hypocritical, prohibitionist Assemblyman violates the drug laws and gets a slap on the wrist while marijuana reform activists get their children taken away. That’s the WoD for you.

    • John says:

      This made me so mad it gave me a headache. I donated $4.20 + picked up the fifty-cent WePay fee.

    • Servetus says:

      Idaho. Don’t trust Idaho courts. Don’t trust Idaho lawyers. Spotlight everything the state does in this case, or they’ll pull something underhanded.

      One more reason to legalize marijuana.

  25. “collaborative, balanced, and science-based approach”

    This would mean that studies will be allowing research on the positive benefits of marijuana?

    That would be collaborative, balanced, and science based. What we have now is totally the opposite. That makes it a bald faced lie. What collaboration? Where? With whom?

  26. claygooding says:

    Drug Control Strategy A Bust, GAO Report Says

    “”NEW YORK — White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske rolled out the latest annual federal drug control strategy this week. But his office has fallen well short of 2010 goals, a report released by the Government Accountability Office on Thursday found.

    The GAO said the government has made no progress or has moved away from goals President Barack Obama outlined when he took office for reducing teen drug use, drug deaths, and HIV infections from drug use. The drug czar and the federal government “have not made progress toward achieving most of the goals articulated in the 2010 National Drug Control Strategy,” the report said.

    Kerlikowske’s latest drug control strategy “builds on the foundation laid down by the administration’s previous three strategies,” according to the outline he released on Wednesday.

    Despite the Obama administration’s shift away from “war on drugs” rhetoric, its 2014 budget proposal still devotes less than half of its funds to treatment and prevention. The GAO found that prevention and treatment programs are “fragmented” across 15 federal agencies. Of the 76 anti-drug programs the GAO reviewed, 59 overlapped.””

    It is at huffpo but still exciting,,when the bran counters start getting into the fray the walls will come down!

  27. Treatment in the context of a National Drug Control strategy is nothing more than incentive to a guilty plea. This is not really any kind of progress, but actually a deterioration away from the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    Its actually an escalation of the drug war.

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