NPT DC: End the War on Drugs? But will the Drug War continue even so?
The Wall Street Journal article titled White House Czar Calls for End to ‘War on Drugs’ is making the rounds nationally. We’ll have to digest this a bit, but the first thought is that there’s no indication that the Drug War will lessen, even were there to be a greater emphasis on treatment over incarceration. Here’s an excerpt (click title above to go to the full article):
In his first interview since being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday the bellicose analogy was a barrier to dealing with the nation’s drug issues.
“Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”
Mr. Kerlikowske’s comments are a signal that the Obama administration is set to follow a more moderate — and likely more controversial — stance on the nation’s drug problems. Prior administrations talked about pushing treatment and reducing demand while continuing to focus primarily on a tough criminal-justice approach.
The Obama administration is likely to deal with drugs as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice alone, with treatment’s role growing relative to incarceration, Mr. Kerlikowske said.