David Borden, Executive
Director, [email protected]
At a conference today (3/17)
at the New York Academy of Medicine, a representative of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy is expected to give the audience -- much of
which will consist of reformers -- a preview of the soon to be released
year 2000 National Drug Control Strategy -- to be titled, we are told,
"Positioning the Nation for Progress."
The obvious question is why,
after 86 years of drug prohibition, three decades under the current "war
on drugs" and nearly twenty years since the coining of the term "drug czar,"
is the nation only now being "positioned for progress"?
The next most obvious question
is why, given that differences between the "new" strategy and previous
strategies are likely to be rhetorical at most, rather than substantive,
should we expect progress to be made this year when the previous decades
have failed to demonstrate such progress?
Could it be that after decades
of promising that "this year" will be the year of glory after all the preceding
years of failure, the government has decided it can no longer make that
claim with a straight face? And hence decided to make a more indirect
promise -- that this year will be the year, not when we see progress, but
when we successfully prepare for progress to be made in some other future
year? Maybe a future after the current drug czar has left office
and the spotlight and doesn't have to answer if the same policies fail
Expect a few new "buzz words,"
but don't expect any truly original policy proposals, and don't expect
an honest or meaningful discussion of drug policy, not from the federal
government. And don't expect progress or even being "positioned for
progress," in the absence of fundamental reform.
-- END --
Issue #129, 3/17/00
House Panel Okays Colombia Aid, Nixes Drug Treatment Funds, Floor Vote Postponed | "Dump Judge Judy" Campaign Heats Up, Chronic Pain Patients Join Coalition | Alerts: Colombia, Forfeiture, Hawaii Medical Marijuana | Marijuana Heart Risk Unlikely to be Significant, Says Expert | Maryland Medical Marijuana Bill Defeated -- This Time | New Racial Justice Coalition in California, Angered by Governor's Veto, Seeks Passage of Racial Profiling Bill | Newsbriefs | NO MORE PRISONS Hip Hop CD Available at Record Stores | Peter McWilliams Update -- Some Supporting Letters Lost in Computer Crash, Requests Resend | "Just Say Know" Conference Tapes Online | Events: New York, Washington, Toronto | Editorial: Positioning the Nation for Progress -- Not
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