Obama’s Drug War Budget Destroys the Myth of Change

For a whole year now, the new administration has been proudly insisting over and over again that they’re taking drug policy in a new direction, abandoning the “drug war” approach and prioritizing treatment instead of more arrests and incarceration. Apparently, someone forgot they’d have to release a budget for all this, which would kinda blatantly expose the illusion that anything’s changed:

Anyone can just plainly see the two towers of “Domestic Law Enforcement” and “Interdiction,” that together dwarf the resources to be spent on treatment. What the drug czar’s office is calling a “Balanced Approach to Drug Control” is so obscenely imbalanced that anybody who knows how to read a bar graph could see it without having to put their contacts in.

We’re still spending twice as much on the war as we are on treatment for the actual people our drug policy is supposed to help. The urge to describe this as “balanced” is just the trademark dishonesty we’ve come to expect from the drug czar’s office anytime they’re required to sum up their agenda in one sentence.

The whole situation is even more appalling when you consider the phenomenal lengths this administration has taken to convince everyone that their drug policy priorities aren’t like this. I suppose it’s a measure of success for our movement that we’ve at least made it unacceptably controversial for the White House to take any pride in its drug war spending, but that’s still an early stage in the long battle to take interdiction off the table and leave enforcement to the states.

If Obama hopes to placate the public’s growing disgust with the drug war status quo, he’ll have to pay much more than lip service to the reform of our drug policy. Everything people hate about the war on drugs must be changed; the swelling prison population, the persecution of the sick, the subsidization of widespread violence, the vast corruption and the perpetual recycling of so many ridiculous lies all must come to an end or else the people refusing to end it will be blamed hard for the damage it keeps causing.

The public relations holiday that followed Obama’s improved policy on medical marijuana is officially over and the reluctant support he enjoyed from so many reformers in 2008 will be hard to come by if the drug war is uglier in 2012 than it is today.

– Article from Stop the Drug War (DRCNet).



  1. Armed American on

    “”I think our government is forgetting its citizens are armed.””

    No they know we are armed, why do you think there trying to TAKE our rights to bear arms ? and there tossin that into the mix when someones arrested for pot they ALWAYS have a gun or rifle (I have rifles … for hunting and feeding my family) if this was the REAL AMERICA we would have already stood up for our rights and fought this BULL$HIT ! it’s a plant god put on this planet not the damn government ! and we are the ones voting this a$$ holes into office we are screwing ourselves. I fought for this country and the rights we have but it’s not other country taking our “RIGHTS” its this government doing it to us … so why are we not fighting “our government” ?? they are the problem! but then again they’ll chalk this all up to I’m a pot smoker and to stupid to know what I’m talking about LOL … (even though I run my own company’s ((yes I have 2)) and make a fair amount of profit) O and I was smart enough to serve in the military (I qualified for nuclear training) ?!?! Hmm .. OK.

    I have an IDEA ! let the “PEOPLE” of this country run the “government” lets see how that works out!

  2. greg williams on

    The ‘ Independent” party is for washed up republicans and democrats. Not to be trusted. Just ask joe libermen.

    ” you Americans have no other choice”

    not according to my .357, 12 gauge pump

  3. From the 70s on


  4. Anonymous on

    LOL!! That would be fun.

  5. John Dillinger on

    People are so gullible. Obama, much like his country, is all rhetoric and no substance. He like the rest of the politicians is only interested in power.

  6. maryjanesuncle on

    in a world that is thirsty for freedom, obama is all thunder and no badly needed rain

  7. <---- I'm with the great satan on

    Nothing important in politics/policy happens fast especially in a democracy , Obama my have every intention of ending the drug war , in a very slow/smart democratic way.

  8. Anonymous on

    People WILL continue to use cannabis no matter what.

    As far as the federal government goes…eventually the PEOPLE and THE STATES will wake up and remove their power. With out the support of the people and the states…the federal government is a toothless powerless beast!

    Wake up people…when will you stop these crooks raping you !!!???

  9. Ammon on

    So, maybe I’m just stoned, but can we sue the government? I know there’s gotta be a lawyer out there somewhere who’s crazy enough to try. I’ld pay em.

  10. Brian Kerr on

    Next time VOTE INDEPENDENT. You American tokers have not other choice.

  11. Steve Bottrell on

    The economy is tanking in a big way. If Obama cut the budget, there would be more job losses. And some rich toes would be stepped on. What would the “C” students have to look forward to in the job market? Its a business. On both sides of the equation. Its sad that money always trumps human society. If you can’t make a buck at it, it doesn’t get done. Its time to end the outdated concept of money and look at alternatives, like the Venus project. I am tired of people dieing by the millions because of money.


    lol, my captcha is “money blk” , now thats funny.

  12. Anonymous on

    Really..I don’t care anymore. Lets start another revolution and take our country back. And with that fucker in the white house, I’m sure half the military would fight against them. Sometimes I just wish I lived in another time. I think our government is forgetting its citizens are armed. How far are they going to have to push us, until we push back?

  13. Caber1 on

    It’s funny that you use the word piss. I feel this is exactly what your government is doing in your face before they throw you in jail and confiscate your belongings.
    Notice the smile on the president’s face. He is laughing at you and your demand for the rights you deserve.

  14. Disgusted - AGAIN on

    And yet again they do something to prove that there’s no such thing as change when it comes to American federal government. As a voter, this pisses me off to the Nth degree and it makes me feel like a damn fool for being so gung-ho about Obama and voting for him and encouraging everyone I know to vote for him. I’m embarrassed.

    The only true thing that has changed in the white house is the color of the president’s skin. Everything else is the same.