Breaking News:EVENT: No Time Like the Present: Drug Policy Reform is More Urgent Than Ever

White House 2013 National Drug Strategy Released

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) released its 2013 National Drug Control Strategy Wednesday. The strategy is being billed as a "21st Century Approach" to drug use and trafficking, but despite some rhetorical softening maintains the US hard-line approach to the issue.

"The president has outlined his vision of an America built to last -- where an educated, skilled workforce has the knowledge, energy and expertise to compete in the global marketplace. Yet -- for far too many Americans -- that vision is limited by drug use, which not only diminishes the potential of the individual, but jeopardizes families, communities and neighborhoods," ONDCP wrote on a blog post announcing the strategy's release and touting reductions in cocaine and prescription drug abuse as progress made.

"Today we are releasing a science-driven plan for drug policy reform in America to build upon this progress," ONDCP continued. "This 21st century drug policy outlines a series of evidence-based reforms that treat our nation's drug problem as a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue. This policy underscores what we all know to be true: we cannot arrest or incarcerate our way out of the drug problem."

The strategy emphasizes treatment and prevention, but despite the rhetoric, the Fiscal Year 2014 federal drug budget it accompanies continues to be imbalanced, with 58% of federal anti-drug spending directed at law enforcement and interdiction efforts. That figure does mark a decline from previous years, but only a marginal one.

And even its emphasis on treatment also includes punitive criminal justice elements, such as its embrace of the drug court system, where drug-addicted people are subjected to legal sanctions for such addiction-related behaviors as failing a drug test or missing an appointment. That has some drug reformers calling foul.

"The administration says drug use is a health issue but then advocates for policies that put people in the criminal justice system," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Until the drug czar says it is time to stop arresting people for drug use, he is not treating drug use as a health issue no matter what he says. I know of no other health issue in which people are thrown in jail if they don't get better."

While much of the strategy is little more than the same old same old, the strategy does call for expanded access to naloxone, a low-cost antidote that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. That is in response to the rapid growth in prescription drug overdose deaths in recent years.

"Director Kerlikowske should be applauded for taking steps to reduce drug overdose fatalities, but he's not doing much to reduce drug arrests or the many other problems associated with treating drug use through the criminal justice system," said Piper.

But while the drug strategy shows flexibility in its efforts to deal with fatal drug overdoses, it maintains a staunch opposition to marijuana reform and includes attacking outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivation as one of its key goals.

"The administration's continued opposition to marijuana law reform shows they're not serious about reforming US drug policy," said Piper. "At the very least they should stop getting in the way of states that are trying to improve public health and safety by regulating marijuana like alcohol."

Washington, DC
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Drugs are bad!!!


""Director Kerlikowske should

""Director Kerlikowske should be applauded for taking steps to reduce drug overdose fatalities...,"

Can we please get some new spokespeople, ones that don't give credit to some of the worst tyrants in America?

Yes, this Piper person goes on to say what Kowardski does wrong, but why does he bother when he's trying so hard to find ONE good thing this corrupt ex-cop is doing? Why would ANYONE in the reform movement "applaud" this man? HOW?!



Why does our government lie to us... about EVERYTHING??? And why the hell do we keep putting up with it?? I can't believe we have allowed this to go on for so long. It's atrocious.

 Nothing to see here except a


Nothing to see here except a Corporate Puppet, dense smoke, and a couple of cracked mirrors.

"What of the cripple who hates dancers? What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things? What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless? And of him who comes early to the wedding-feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are a violation and all feasters lawbreakers?" 

—Khalil Gibran

It is the Prohibitionists, a wholly malignant scourge of absolute scoundrels, who are literally strangling the Constitution and starving Freedom to death. And until the Freedom and Constitution of our once proud and prosperous nation is secured, these same prohibitionist parasites, with their promotion of organized crime, murder, terrorism, and economic recession—and who carry with them a disease far fouler than Old Testament leprosy—shall be hunted down, removed from public life, and punished accordingly.

Prohibition is an absolute scourge —The End!  The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels, terrorists, and corrupt politicians most definitely IS.

Prohibitionists are simply traitors that haven't yet been Tried and Executed!

yes and....

yes all of the above, and self-serving bastards who cry bloody foul when someone tries to threaten THEIR interpretation of the constitution (i.e. gun control, pesky government regulations that limit big business from fouling our air and water for example) but when it comes to REAL personal freedom, to smoke a joint in your own home, and grow your own so that you know it had nothing to do with the murdering torturing drug cartel beasts of Mexico, they want to slam you as either a criminal or a sick person. 


Being gay was once considered a mental illness, being a pot smoker seems to be the new " gay" in that something that is an expression of a normal healthy adult making their own choices is defined as something that no matter what, if you don't agree with THEIR viewpoint, you're mal aligned. 


 To give an example, I once had psychological testing done for ADHD and in the process wz open about smoking pot.  Never been arrested, had trouble with family, failed to meet role obligations, missed work, or any of the other items that establish a substance abuse criteria, yet the psychology intern (who wasn't even born when I smoked my first joint) (and probably never smoked herself) gave me a diagnosis of Substance Abuse Disorder simply because I admitted to smoking.  She then had the nerve in her next call to remind me of my appointment, to leave on my voice mail "and don't forget, don't smoke any marijuana before you take this next test."  Like wtf?  I wasn't going to but just because she left that asshat v/m, I smoked up in the parking lot right before the test.  Paradoxically, it was the IQ portion and I scored superior or very superior in several areas and above average in all.  I rest my case.

Sameold-sameold talk. 1-3 has

Sameold-sameold talk. 1-3 has not helped as it is formed by commercial interests without desire to fundamentally solve the problem and the Administration  has no plan to accomplish the second half of number 4 as that would be political suicide.

All this says is we will make some kind of effort someday, and continue the arresting and lack of treatment today( and the foreseeable future).

Help change the law - act today

I am hoping to enlist your help. Although White House petitions have been made in the past, the drug czar hides behind the standard line that marijuana is dangerous. I agree. However, it is not as dangerous as many medications, and the D.E.A. is charged under the controlled substances act to assign risk to medications and other substances with risk of addiction. They improperly assign high risk to marijuana.

 President Lincoln founded the National Academy of Sciences, of which the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is part, just for this purpose – to provide the government with unbiased evaluations based on science. The Obama administration prides itself on following science in making policy. It would be hard for them to say no to an unbiased scientific review by the IOM.

Please help move this forward. Please sign this petition and to spread the word by Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

 Link to Whitehouse Petition:



Thank you,


you agree with what?

you really think marijuana is dangerous? Seriously??


If Obama wants to talk about something that doesn't work he should be talking about his healthcare or Obamacare. I have heard from so many doctors that are dropping their business because they just can't afford to stay in business because of this Obamacare. I think that Obama should go ahead and make Medical Marijuana legal so we can treat our self at lest we would have something that works. They just passed a new law for airport controllers in only two days so why should it take so long to pass a law to make marijuana legal?

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