Obama's 2011 National Drug Policy Unveiled: Hype v. Reality
On Saturday, I wrote about the Obama Administration's new Southwest Border Drug Control Policy. Here is the 2011 National Drug Control Policy. The Administration wants us to believe it is focused on prevention and treatment. And Sections 1-4 of the Action List do address treatment and prevention. The devil is in the details.
Obama has no intention of reducing the crack/powder disparity further than the 18:1 ratio passed by Congress. Or reducing any other mandatory minimums for drug crimes. Or reducing any current federal drug penalties. Under the action section, "4.2.D. Foster Equitable Drug Sentencing", in red letters, is the word "Complete." [More...]
Some assorted action items:
- Zero tolerance for driving with a controlled substance in your system:
Fifteen states have passed laws clarifying that the presence of any illegal drug in a driver's body is per se evidence of impaired driving. ONDCP will work to expand the use of this standard to other states and explore other ways to increase the enforcement of existing DUID laws.
- Allow probation officers (without a judicial hearing or order) to send a probationer to jail for failing a drug test.
NIJ recently funded an evaluation of the Delaware Department of Correction's new "Decide Your Time" program, which is also based on these principles. Potentially, similar results may also be accomplished administratively if probation and parole agencies were given limited authority to impose brief sanctions such as short stints of incarceration. These initiatives have the potential to sharply reduce drug use, crime, and probation revocation, in addition to being able to distinguish those who truly need drug treatment from those who can be induced to stop their drug-taking through other means. (my emphasis)
- Make pseudoephedrine (whose sales are now monitored) a prescription drug again like it was in 1976.
- Treat cash the same as illegal drugs.
Bulk seizures of currency, regardless of who makes the seizure or where it is made, should be treated, to the extent allowable by law, as drugs or other contraband are treated.
- More snooping into your mail and packages:
There is little doubt that a significant amount of illegal drugs moves through our public and private mail systems. This is a particular problem with prescription drugs, which are easily mixed in with large-scale legitimate mailings. Considering the huge volume of packages, domestic and international, that are transited throughout the 50 States, this threat poses a difficult challenge and overwhelms the limited manpower now focused on examining these packages. Nonetheless, new technologies combined with investigatory efforts hold promise to curtail this problem.
Is a plan in the works to take kids away from parents who use drugs? Smoke a joint, lose your kids? Sounds like it's in the nascent phase of development, with the "Establish Interagency Task Force on Drug Endangered Children " section.
- Expand our global efforts -- all around the world
- Increased use of military in war on drugs:
The Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS), a DOD component of U.S. Southern Command, coordinates and directs detection and monitoring of all illicit drug-trafficking activities in the Transit Zone. Bringing together partners from the military, law enforcement, and intelligence communities, along with our international allies, JIATFS has contributed to impressive interdiction results and disruptions of trafficking organizations by United States law enforcement agencies and our international partners, allowing us to "work smarter." This has largely been accomplished through the consistent employment of Maritime Bilateral Counter-Drug Agreements and Operational Procedures, improvements in the exchange of information among our partners, better detection technology, development of more and better actionable intelligence, and improvements in the ability of transit zone partner countries to conduct interdiction endgame operations on their own
- Work towards drug tests for all arrestees, even those not arrested for drug crimes. "Individuals who are arrested and/or convicted of crimes demonstrate substantially higher rates of drug use-especially chronic or hardcore use-than the general population."
- Determine new ways to find out who is using drugs via a "Community Early Warning and Monitoring System." Will this involve our health insurance companies demanding information from us and providing it to the feds?
There's $15.5 billion for enforcement,
Over $9.5 billion in FY 2012 Federal resources are requested to support domestic law enforcement efforts, an increase of $314.6 million over the FY 2010 enacted level.
...The Federal budget for interdiction totals $3.9 billion in FY 2012, for an increase of $243 million over the FY 2010 enacted level.
...The FY 2012 Budget requests over $2.1 billion to provide international support, a decrease of $456.6 million from the FY 2010 enacted level.
On prevention and treatment: $10.6 billion
$1.7 billion support education and outreach programs aimed at preventing the initiation of drug use, a nearly 8 percent increase ($123.0 million) over the FY 2010 enacted level.
...The FY 2012 Budget proposes $8.9 billion in Federal funds for early intervention and treatment services for substance abusers, an increase over one percent ($98.7 million) over the FY 2010 funding level.
This is just the National Drug Control budget. It is different (and in addition to) the budgets for law enforcement (DEA, DOD, DOJ, Meridia, etc.) in fighting the global war on drugs.
Still to come: The Northern Border Drug Control Strategy.
It is mind-boggling that Congress and our President are considering raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 and cutting social security benefits, while continuing to authorize so many billions on the war on drugs. Most offensive to me economically is the amount being spent on the global efforts that have nothing to do with the U.S., like the millions spent on preventing drugs from being shipped from South America to Africa with a final destination of Europe, not the U.S. And the millions spent on training law enforcement in other countries to do it like we do it, wiretaps and all. Somebody needs to rein in this spending.
As Drug War Rant says:
Only in government can you point to a massive financial black hole that you’ve caused and use it for justification for a budget to do more of the same.
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