What does the White House consider Drug Policy Reform?

I admit to curiosity regarding the ONDCP’s strangely promoted “Drug Policy Reform Conference” that starts in a few minutes.

Join the first-ever ONDCP #DrugPolicyReform Conference at the White House. Monday, 9 AM EST: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

Apparently, it’ll be continuing until 1 pm EST. I’ll be unable to follow most of the proceedings live, so if you’re able (and willing), let us know in comments what they’re covering. I assume it’ll focus on treatment.

This release should provide a little glimpse into how this was set up. Very little publicity by the ONDCP – most has apparently been through the select organizations it invited.

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29 Responses to What does the White House consider Drug Policy Reform?

  1. Pingback: What does the White House consider Drug Policy Reform? – Drug WarRant | TAKE BACK THE MAJORITY

  2. Duncan20903 says:

    Could it be “a public policy program that lines the pockets and increases the profits of Federally preferred prohibitionist parasites?”

  3. claygooding says:

    Moving the deck chairs around and trying to convince America that they are earning their funding by the bureaucrats feeling the budget cutting scissors getting closer to their budgets,,for a lot of them it is swim or die.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Well keep your fingers crossed. If things keep going south for their side of the table they will start stabbing each other in the back. Not may, will. IMO it was that precise dynamic which got the tobacco companies on the wrong side of a lawsuit.

  4. Crut says:

    DAG James Cole: I fell asleep already, nothing surprising in the opening statements. …sigh…

    Dr Jack Stein (NIDA): We’re going to use Science! I’m going to set the foundation for the conference! Addiction is a disease of the brain! …sigh…

    Oh well, so much for a foundation for the conference.

    I’m not going to continue watching now. If this is how it starts, nothing promising is likely to be forthcoming.

    Addiction is so much different than a “disease”. It’s a combination of genetics and conditioned responses to external stimuli (upbringing, class, exposure). To simply say that it’s a disease of the brain is just over-simplification and ignorant. But telling the whole truth would put them out of a job, so he’s going to explain why we still need the government to protect us from ourselves…

    • shelley west says:

      Thank you for your very right on description of addiction. The disease model of addiction has long driven me to distraction. But labeling it a disease of the brain sets the stage for their next program of persecution of drug users. This will allow them to simply move the wear housing of drug users from prison to mental wards.

  5. jean valjean says:

    real addiction like alcoholism or opiate dependency is primarily physical. stein has to focus on mental because thats the only way to include their cannabis cash- cow.

  6. Tony Aroma says:

    I was just watching a panel discussing drug courts, and I think it gives a great insight into the participant’s mindset. There’s no “forced” or mandatory rehab. Nosiree! People are given a choice. Go to prison or go to rehab. See, it’s voluntary.

    BTW, in the previous post I made a comment predicting what this conference would be about. Looks like I hit the nail on the head (do I get a prize?). It’s about the administration patting itself on the back for all the great drug policy reforms they’ve already instituted. Not once were the drug laws themselves mentioned as contributing to the drug problem. Since what they’ve been doing is working so well already, all we need to do is more of the same, stay the course. I guess that settles the issue of drug policy reform, at least for the time being.

  7. allan says:

    hmmm… a circle jerk at the WH, this IS a new millenium. In the late 20th century they settled for blow jobs in the WH.

  8. Servetus says:

    The self-back-patting included a claim that somehow the ONDCP was responsible for correcting the crack-cocaine disparity (which still stands at 18-to-1), while giving the impression that the ONDCP/DEA is a kinder, gentler, group of petty tyrants; ready as ever to intervene in someone’s life regardless of actual need. They’re like the worn out joke about the Boy Scout who helps the old lady across the street despite her complaining she doesn’t want to go.

    The topic “From ‘Tough on Crime’ to ‘Smart on Crime’” isn’t original, nor is it exclusively an idea of the ONDCP. Further, it’s ironic the drug enforcers should talk about ‘lifting the stigma of addiction’, when they and their predecessors instigated the stigma currently in use against all types of drug users, not just addicts. Getting rid of the term substance ‘abuse’ is a good idea, but dropping the word ‘abuse’ is a change in drug law vernacular made long ago by recreational drug users in discussion forums.

    The self-congratulating technique is a standard operating procedure for any government agency. However, the ONDCP’s new habit of claiming credit for all the drug law reforms recommended, instigated and achieved by their opponents is not. All of this makes the ONDCP a phony today, a phony tomorrow, a phony forever.

    • claygooding says:

      And not one word about actual reductions in drug availability or keeping or from children any better,,,we are doing our jobs so well that regardless of the total failure of the war on drugs US taxpayers should just continue funding us because we tried.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        clay, that’s just not true. We’ve had a stunning success in the last 15 or 20 years in reducing youth use of a couple of highly addictive, physically and mentally deleterious illegal drugs. Does anyone really need all three guesses here?

    • kaptinemo says:

      Oh, jeez, they’re all but admitting it!

      I said long ago that when the pols started singing our tune, the lyrics would go from “Tough on crime!” to “Smart on crime.” And here they are. All but admitting defeat.

  9. allan says:

    Medication Assisted Recovery Services

    Gee, that’s not subtle at all.

    So someone needs to ask why Ethan Nadelmann, or say… maybe Neill Franklin. Or hell, Tommy Chong, weren’t invited.

    The lack of even the mention of any opposition is telling.

  10. Matthew Meyer says:

    Hard to see how this helps them when they’re not even inviting the press…

  11. allan says:

    oh… with Pat Kennedy and project SAM also involved I think the WH ONDCP has just created the perfect Prohib caricature. Meet Sam Mars.

  12. Howard says:

    They could have titled it: ONDCP “Same Shit Different Day Conference”. That would have been more descriptive.

    And I’ll bet they can’t wait to welcome these zombies into the fold;


    • primus says:

      see where it says that at 55, he brings a younger perspective on the scene? WTF?

      • Howard says:

        Ha! Yeah, they just might add a little eccentricity to the mix. I like how they describe their gentler approach. I guess they figured swinging hatchets is a tad outdated. That’s comforting.

  13. DdC says:

    They’re Calling in the Calvary. Horseback, when we have drones? Maybe they’ll resurrect Carry Nation using her hatchet to demolish Dispensaries?

    Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Targeting Pot
    CN By David Sharp December 08, 2013 Associated Press

    The mansion that serves as Maine headquarters of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union lay largely fallow until recently, with drug needles, liquor bottles and pornographic magazines littering the grounds. Now, in the state where Prohibition had its roots and in a city that just legalized recreational marijuana, the WCTU is overhauling the building and looking to reinvent itself. Leaders of the organization, which is committed to abstinence, plan to take a lower-key approach, compared with the old days when crusading women terrorized saloon owners. Read More…

    Woman’s Christian Vengeance Union

    Woman’s Christian Temperance Union
    First Wrong On Alcohol, Now Wrong On Cannabis
    April 24th, 2008 By: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

    Seventy-five 80 years after the American people and its representatives in government rejected prohibitionists’ ‘great social experiment’ by repealing alcohol prohibition with the passage of the 21st Amendment, one of the leading anti-libation organizations of that era these days espouses Reefer Madness and pseudo-science.

    That’s 80 years since Rockefeller banned farmers from making their own ethanol and still just as prohibited today. Same as when they removed cannabis in 1937.
    Capone and Watergate

    Christian Extremism and Terrorism In History

    • Howard says:

      The Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio, Texas preserved the spot where Carry Nation chopped a wedge out of the bar (there’s a small plaque describing what happened). It’s a quaint reminder of the Noble Experiment.

      So when I read that the WCTU was resurrecting itself to fight marijuana reform I thought, “No way, THEM?!” But I’m sure they mean well and are just dusting themselves off to “help”. I sense comic relief ahead.

      • kaptinemo says:

        Yepper, here come the crazies. That manic aspect of American politics that just won’t die the death it deserves, but inserts itself into the body politic like a long-forgotten plague re-acquainting itself.

        Nuts, loons, zombies from History’s boneyard, Through some modern-day necromancy, the ideological dead have arisen to once more attack the living!

        This resurrecting and bringing together some of the most historically-proven bad ideas ever conceived under one roof, encompassing every bad anti-drug policy ever promoted, Hmmm. This reminds me of something. Yes, I remember, now. This is starting to look like a real-life version of “Plan 9 from Outer Space”.

        They’re on the ropes for sure when they let the certifiable loons speak for them. And they’re about to do just that…

  14. allan says:

    The Daily Chronic blasts a broadside at Droop Dog:

    MPP Blasts Drug Czar over Drug Policy Reform Comments

  15. allan says:

    from Doug McVay:

    Hello Folks,

    My newest Drug Policy Facts podcast is online. This week I feature audio from today’s White House drug policy conference. Download and subscribe from



  16. allan says:

    ya know… this kind of circle-jerking, besides being embarrassing (I mean c’mon, close the door at least) it’s cowardice. These are bureaucrats pimping some scary shit. That they’re in the pockets of the pharmacorp is obvious – Medication Assisted Recovery Services.

    It’s cowardice in that they’re so damn scared of their opposition they won’t admit there IS an opposition. It’s cowardice from a President that has sat on his ass on one of the most important social/cultural/civil/political/ideological issues of our time. If it gets any worse it may become the biggest of all time.

    It’s cowardice because they continue to hide behind their castle walls, oblivious to those outside.

    When has the drug kzar EVER appeared before an opposing audience? When has he ever faced reporters w/ REAL f’ing questions?

    I mean really, c’mon. I can’t legally smoke me herb mon but I hofta t’buy your domn insurance? I don’ tink so mon… no no no.

    It’s cowardice because they hide behind ‘the children.’

    And it’s mostly cowardice because they’re just plain wrong and too greedy, pig-headed and sissified to admit it. And that cost to us for their stoopidity is inestimable. Maybe the dollars can be counted but the disaster wreaked upon many – too many – good peoples’ lives, cannot be tallied.

    We know this nation has a bottom line. As our founders so well stated, in some historical rambling:

    that [we] are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    And it’s interesting that they added this:

    when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government

    The drug war fits the description – a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object.

    The affront to human dignity that is the WOD is nothing anyone should be proud of having had a hand in. If they do not cease and desist their wrongful usurpations, their growing despotism under Prohibition’s flag then the path ahead is obvious, no?

    They crash in our doors, shoot our dogs, our friends, family and neighbors. They deny science AND common sense. AND they want to dictate to us the means (or not) of our happiness. A word our founders mentioned often… must’ve been important to them.

  17. Jillian Galloway says:

    All this talk but the one thing they can’t ask is whether marijuana should even be illegal. And in that they’re just like religious fanatics – their first rule is and always will be DON’T question your beliefs! Start with the assumption that marijuana should forever remain illegal and interpret everything you see and hear from that (erroneous) point of view. It’s time for all these games to STOP!!

  18. Duncan20903 says:


    Defection! (not defecation)

    Like rats off of a sinking ship…

    This Former DEA Agent Is Going to Work in the Marijuana Business

    The revolving door between business and government just made an unexpected turn.

    …but the sad thing is that rats can’t swim worth a defecation (not defection). But maybe they can be taught? Rat swimming lesson

  19. allan says:

    OT… mostly, kinda sorta…

    The old farts here may remember this. It actually marked my true initial embrace of the ’60s counter culture, played this alll the time.


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