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Drug Czar's Office Re-evaluating Marijuana Policy: "We're trying to base stuff on the facts"

Submitted by smorgan on
There's a new spokesman at the drug czar's office and I'm kinda liking him so far:

Doug Richardson, a spokesman for the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the office is in the process of re-evaluating its policies on marijuana and other drugs.

Richardson said the office under Obama was pursuing a "more comprehensive" approach than the previous administration, with emphasis on prevention and treatment as well as law enforcement.

"We're trying to base stuff on the facts, the evidence and the science," he said, "not some particular prejudice somebody brings to the table." [AP]

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's all a bunch of feel-good political pandering that means little if anything in terms of actual meaningful policy change. But think about the fact that the drug czar's office is now constantly and rather blatantly pandering to people who don't like the drug war. That's the target audience for this kind of language and it's awfully refreshing to finally find them on the defensive.

Really, all this talk about basing everything on science from now on is a rather huge rebuke of the people who ran the office during the Bush Administration. The current ONDCP is going around basically suggesting that our drug policy wasn't based on facts before. To even suggest such a thing raises rather fundamental questions surrounding the legitimacy of every drug war strategy that was employed prior to 2009. Surely, that's not what they mean, but I'd love to hear a reporter follow up on this and ask for examples of non-science-based drug policy for the sake of comparison.

No matter how you interpret it, this sort of rhetoric from the drug czar's office is yet another powerful testament to the progress of our movement. We've made the issue so controversial that the new drug warriors are afraid to be associated with the old ones.

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