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Modest Changes in Obama's FY 2014 Drug Budget

The Obama administration released its Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal Wednesday, including its 2014 federal drug budget. Pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle quickly pronounced the Obama budget dead on arrival, but it does provide both a window into administration thinking on drug policy and a starting point for negotiations.

Obama's 2014 drug budget came out Wednesday. (
There's not much new. The historic 2:1 ratio between law enforcement and interdiction spending and treatment and prevention spending, representing what critics have long called an over-reliance on enforcement, is slightly attenuated. The Obama 2014 drug budget allocates 58% of spending to enforcement vs. 42% to treatment and prevention. It is a slight improvement over the FY 2013 drug budget, where the figures were 62% and 38% -- starting to climb away from 2:1, if it continues, but not dramatically.

In a post on its web site, the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Rafael Lemaitre writes that treatment and prevention spending now tops domestic law enforcement spending, and "that's what a 21st Century approach to drug policy looks like," but that post does not include interdiction and international drug enforcement spending. When those are included, the Obama drug budget is clearly weighted on the side of law enforcement -- very much what a late 20th Century drug policy looked like.

Still, the budget calls for an 18% increase in treatment funding, and cuts in interdiction and international enforcement funding, as welling as reducing funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which generates ever more drug arrests working with state and local drug task forces. But spending for both the DEA and Bureau of Prisons is going up, and that raised the hackles of one drug reform activist.

"The administration deserves some credit for moving this ratio slightly in the right direction over the years, but a drug control budget that increases funding for the DEA and the Bureau of Prisons is simply not the kind of strategy we need in the 21st Century," said Tom Angell, spokesman for the Marijuana Majority. "At a time when a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, and states are moving to end prohibition, this president should be spending less of our money paying narcs to send people to prison, not more. If, as administration officials say, 'we can't arrest our way out of the drug problem,' then why are they continuing to devote so many resources to arresting people for drug problems?"

The administration also deserves "some credit" for reducing HIDTA funding, said Angell, but "still $193 million for the program is $193 million more than should be used to arrest people for drugs in the 21st Century."

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"Some" credit?! "Modest" Changes?

Who does this Obama-loving butt-kisser Tom Angell think he's fooling? Why would anyone who is anti-prohibition give him or his administration of crooks ANY credit?

This headline should read "Negligible Changes" in order to be truthful.

This is classic Stockholm Syndrome! "ooo my captors are stabbing me a little less deep... bravo!!"

Stop playing the politically correct game of "complimenting our captors" please, Angell.

Seriously. We have a majority. How about we act like it.

They are shredding our Constitution in the name of destroying 1-2% of the cannabis plant supply. How about we concentrate on that before we give Obama any praise.

....says the guy who would

....says the guy who would still be in federal prison if he had gotten busted with cocaine instead of not getting busted.

drug budget

I wonder if President Obama has memories of his past drug use when he signs off on this kind of garbage . He admitted himself that the drug war is a failure . What about his good buddy Jay-z ? Beyonce ? Does the President plan on smoking some " girl scout cookies " with Jay & B. once his term is up ? Maybe it`s just the $$$ .

Drew B's picture

 As long as Obama has that


As long as Obama has that creator of horror and lies, Biden, so close to him, it's no surprise Drug War steams ahead: 

Listen/read to the full quote from Biden there.

The truth of the matter is that 60% of all violent crime in America is a consequence of drug abuse. The idea that we are not insisting on extended background checks for the 40% of druggies out there who go buy stuff and don’t have to go through anything makes no sense.


That is the same sick and evil mindset that, during alcohol prohibition, labeled all drinkers as druggie/drunks and that they should be hung from their tongues and flown around the country as a spectacle of the consequences of drinking.

Even as the problems caused by prohibition mounted and the political winds began to shift, [Prohibitionists] sometimes became even more adamant in their support. […] The president of the WCTU [Women's Christian Temperance Union] defended the actions of prohibition agents who clubbed a suspected bootlegger unconscious and then shot his wife as she ran to aid him, commenting tersely, "Well, she was evading the law, wasn't she?"


One woman suggested that liquor law violators should be hung by the tongue beneath an airplane and carried over the United States. Another suggested that the government should distribute poison liquor through the bootleggers; she admitted that several hundred thousand Americans would die, but she thought that this cost was worth the proper enforcements of the dry law. Others wanted to deport all aliens, exclude wets from all churches, force bootleggers to go to church every Sunday, forbid drinkers to marry, torture or whip or brand or sterilize or tattoo drinkers, place offenders in bottle- shaped cages in public squares, make them swallow two ounces of castor oil, and even execute the consumers of alcohol and their posterity to the fourth generation.


This is the level of EVIL we are stil dealing with today in the person of Joe Biden, Leonhart, "Drug Free" loonies, etc… and even Obama since he goes along with them and is apparently too cowardly to pull rank on them as we all know he should since he's been given this opportunity on a platter! But apparently Barry wants to go down in the history books as a coward too afraid to stand up to the evil bullies.

Hey Barry, go watch the video of the McCarthy trials, who do people cheer? It's not him, it's not those he managed to intimidate, it's those who publicly took him to task even though they knew they'd be accused of being a commie, or being soft on commies, being a red druggie.

Watching from Oklahoma, where

Watching from Oklahoma, where criminal penalties for marijuana are medieval, I applaud Vermont for your just & wise goals of legalization, regulation, medical use, and taxationThe Good Herb.

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