Obama Wants to "Crack Down" on U.S. Drug Use

Maybe it was just a poor choice of words, but President Obama said in Mexico today that the U.S. must "crack down" on drug use in our cities and town. (Video here, transcript here.)

Perhaps he meant we need to spend more on drug treatment and preventive measures. But "crack down" is a phrase I expect him to use when discussing large-scale traffickers, not users.

Was it a slip of the tongue, or is Obama threatening more punitive measures for users?

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    Who the hell knows... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by NealB on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 11:56:28 PM EST
    ...what Obama means any more about...well, anything? Big disaster in the the making.

    I don't think it was a slip (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 12:12:27 AM EST
    Unfortunately, I don't see him as the "we must seek treatment/be preventive, etc" type. When I read it, it reminded me of his "lecture" to absent fathers. I honestly think he doesn't have a handle on the struggles that are out there. His life experience doesn't lend to it. I don't know if he is suggesting more punitive measures, but I also don't think he's suggesting more help. It could be a "pull yourselves up by your bootstraps or else" kinda statement? Although, it could be one area he feels comfortable getting "tough on" . . . .

    If he truly meant it in punitive measures, I sure hope he has some stimulus dollars going towards prison building/programs. /snark

    I was afraid of this (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 06:42:15 AM EST
    The same old s--t. From an admitted illegal drug user. Who would not be in the position of power he is in today if he had run afoul of the laws that destroy far more lives than the drugs they are meant to proscribe. Is he that unconscious of his own hypocrisy?

    Can he not hear the growing chorus of voices in the MSM that are calling for a debate on the wisdom of maintaining the fiscally wasteful and socially destructive DrugWar, when the US is broke and in hock to foreign creditors holding our National Debt? Is he that deaf?

    Okay, it's clear now. It should have been clear from the moment he made that snide crack about the 'online community' concerns about the drug laws. If he thought that the equally snickering response he received from the audience that day was the green light for 'bid-ness as yoo-zhul', then it's time to let him know how mistaken he is.

    Despite the hopes that he might bring some sanity into the issue, BO has made it plain he's beholden to the same old special interests that benefit so handsomely from the DrugWar...like the bank(st)ers whose banks are kept afloat with laundered money from illegal drug proceeds.

    Alright. He's made it plain that drug Law reformers cannot count on him. It's time for mass marches. It's time for badgering your elected representatives, non-stop, getting in their faces and asking them which would they rather spend money on, unemployment insurance or the DrugWar? Kids having school lunches, or Barney Fife playing with Armored Personnel Carriers and .50 Cal sniper rifles? Affordable housing, or bureaucrat's salaries? With the economy the way it is, it truly is 'guns or butter' time, and all those unemployed soon-to-be-hungry-and-homeless people will want to eat butter, not sniper rifles.

    More "Just Say No" campaigns. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 07:24:39 AM EST
    They've been so effective in the past 30 years. Not.

    Is he that unconscious of his own hypocrisy? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by tokin librul on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:29:16 AM EST
    Short answer: Yup...

    But as Upton Sinclair said, albeit in another context, 75 years ago: It is difficult for a man to acknowledge the lies upon which his paycheck depends...

    "Crack down on drug use"... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 06:39:47 AM EST
    is one of those politics-only phrases that doesn't mean much of anything...kinda like kissing babies at campaign stops, its in the playbook and it is said more out of tradition than anything else.

    But I'll keep an eye out for stormtroopers comin' after me and mine just in case I'm wrong...:)

    That's a riot (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mikeb302000 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 07:31:48 AM EST
    I can't believe he said it that way.

    What I picked up on was the story of his comments on the Assault Weapons Ban, which seemed to contradict what Holder said just the other day.

    I doubt he cares (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 08:53:02 AM EST
    I think he "says" a lot of things.  like the campaign.  he said a lot of things that got lots of indys and repubs to vote for him.

    I will wait and see.
    but Im skeptical.

    The optimist... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:13:23 AM EST
    ...in me hopes he was refering to cracking down on the Mexican drug cartels in the US and not your average American.  The pessimist in me isn't so sure...  

    no other choice (none / 0) (#10)
    by diogenes on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 04:46:31 PM EST
    To lower drug prices and thus weaken cartels, you either legalize or you lower demand (i.e. "crack down on use").
    If Obama approached the oil cartel by saying that he wanted to "crack down" on oil demand in the US, you'd be fine with it.

    Obama has never (none / 0) (#11)
    by JamesTX on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 08:44:46 PM EST
    promised much help in this area. His views wouldn't even be considered moderate. He denies any support for reasonable drug policy at every opportunity. He made that clear from the beginning, probably because he understands the vast wealth and power of the drug warriors within the government. They could have stopped him from being elected. And ff he threatens their war, they would take him out, and he knows it.

    I am not sure what the solution to this problem is, but we better find one. It is about to destroy the country and it is finding its way into our personal liberties, health, and general well-being. This is a case where a powerful interest group (the drug warriors) has absolute control, even over the president. That is a sign of a broken system. We aren't finished. We have only just begun. There is a long way to go.

    Yeah! (none / 0) (#13)
    by slr51 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:46:33 PM EST
    Don't you wish he had a policy like "Expand Use of Drug Courts: ... give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior."

    Oh wait. That's exactly his policy.



    I have seen that before, (none / 0) (#15)
    by JamesTX on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:26:42 PM EST
    but what is written there and what he says whenever asked a question in public seem to diverge at 90 degrees. Whenever asked about drug policy in public, he seems to parrot the same old tired drug war rhetoric. Tucked away in the back pages of the Whitehouse website are these little snippets evidently intended to sway the more literate voter, but we all know who wins when it comes down to it -- the TeeVee.

    Got a link to "everything" he's said? (none / 0) (#18)
    by slr51 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:39:27 PM EST
    Because the stuff I'm seeing backs up the policy statement.



    I'm not going (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by JamesTX on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:48:14 PM EST
    to get into that detailed of an argument, and of course I can't meet your unrealistic demand of linking to everything he has ever said. Look, I have dealt with Obama groupies from the beginning. I voted for Obama. I am on your side. That is, to the extent that he is a move in the right direction overall. But an absolute inability to tolerate any criticism of him is characteristic of groupie politics, and it will lead us right back to the situation that most of us elected Obama in order to get away from. Politicians aren't gods (or rock stars). They serve us and we demand their loyalty, not the other way around. That is one of the things the conservative movement confused a whole generation of Americans about. The democratic system is working correctly when we can evaluate the leader's performance and agree or disagree with them. We don't pledge absolute loyalty to a person and then defend them no matter what. That is called Republicanism.

    Obama's drug policy statements are inconsistent, and I believe most people would agree with that. Yes, the drug czar pick was good, and yes there are instances where there are signs of reform. But we still see an absolute resistance to drug decriminalization, which is ultimately the only rational approach. And we also see the same old drug war rhetoric when a big crowd or a TeeVee camera is present.

    Don't take it too personally. I am not trying to dethrone Obama, but I will never unconditionally go along with anything a politician does, even if they are "my" politician. I realize that is a lost idea on younger Americans, but it is actually a virtue of the democratic process.

    I am saying that this was never one of his big campaign promises, and we shouldn't be surprised when he sounds like Bush on this issue.


    Careful jumping to conclusions so quickly. (none / 0) (#12)
    by slr51 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:41:56 PM EST
    Obama is blowing smoke (none / 0) (#14)
    by KoolJeffrey on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:29:49 PM EST
    He is ducking this issue at every opportunity. You can tell by the inconsistency in his statements. He doesn't seem to remember what he said about his "stance" because he doesn't have one. Maybe he realizes he doesn't have a solution (who does?) and wants to focus on more acute crises by kicking the can down the street.

    I agree entirely. (none / 0) (#16)
    by JamesTX on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:29:36 PM EST
    I think Obama decided before the election that he didn't want to take on the drug warriors. He decided there were more important fish to fry. He is probably right. We will not even be able to have a rational discussion on this issue until some other issues are cleared away.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#17)
    by Bluesage on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:32:29 PM EST
    He just wants to avoid a national conversation about illegal drugs for fear someone may ask about his drug use or look up his dealers from the past. I don't think we know much about Obama, his drug use, his mortgage or his life before he made that speech in 04 or read his account of his life from his books.  The media certainly never bothered asking him to explain anything that might make him uncomfortable.