Monday, May 18, 2009

War on Drugs Called Off

The Obama administration’s new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, believes that the war on drugs we’ve all been losing for decades now isn’t doing anything to solve the problems of our society. In fact, it’s hurting people. So he wants to do away with it. Well, he wants to do away with calling it the war on drugs, that is. "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," Kerlikowske said. “We're not at war with people in this country." That makes perfect sense. If we’re no longer at war with drug users, that means we’ll stop arresting consenting adults for possessing and using drugs? Not quite. But that doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made! Kerlikowske wants to increase the role of addiction treatment in dealing with drug offenders. But not all of his solutions are so nonsensically vague. For instance, he supports the administration’s efforts to eliminate the sentencing disparities between cocaine and crack. Previously, possession of the same amount of crack or cocaine would carry much stiffer penalties for crack users. That doesn’t make any sense, so I’m glad to see it go. But why can’t we carry that to its logical conclusion and do away with disparities in punishment for possessing other drugs like marijuana, alcohol, Ambien, or Red Bull? More details here.

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