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White House Budget: Failed Drug War Tactics Prioritized Over Prevention And Treatment


barack obama white house budget drug policyBy Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

The Obama Administration has released its National Drug Control Budget for the FY 2014 and despite their claims that “the war on drugs is over” and that they have “bigger fish to fry” the Office National Drug Control Policy is still prioritizing failed drug war tactics over prevention and treatment.

The new budget calls for 9.6 billion dollars to be spent on domestic law enforcement, 3.7 billion for interdiction, and 1.4 billion for international drug control efforts.

Prevention, in the form of education and outreach efforts, receives a paltry $1.4 billion dollars. While this is a 5% increase over the previous year’s budget, it is still a minuscule sum when you consider we are spending nine times more on arresting people than we are to educate them on risks of drug use and stop them from ending up in the criminal justice system in the first place. The budget calls for an additional 9.3 billion to be spent on treatment programs for those considered to have drug abuse issues (though $80 million of this funding goes to the drug court program, infamous for giving defendants the “choice” of serving time in rehab or spending time in a jail cell).

For all their rhetoric, this recent budget shows that little has changed in the federal government’s priorities when it comes to the War on Drugs. Funding is still disproportionately spent arresting people or diverting them into treatment programs after the fact, while only a small fraction (13%) of the overall drug budget is spent trying to fix the problem before it starts.

It is time for the Obama Administration’s policy to match its language on the issue of drug law reform. President Obama once promised that he would allow science and factual evidence to guide his administration on issues of public policy, but when it comes to marijuana laws, we are still waiting for him to deliver.

You can view the full text of the budget here.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. To see socially-regressive, sanctimonious neanderthals—falsely touting church, God, nationalism, or patriotism—denigrate, bully, threaten, and murder the ill and dying for choosing to exercise their right to self-medicate with one of God’s most medically efficacious plants.

    To see our prisons filled to budget-busting capacity on the false pretense of protecting people from themselves.

    To see the selective targeting and destruction of African-American families and African-American communities.

    To see the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans destroyed or severely disrupted.

    To see our Federal government’s role in the international drug trade, funding despicable black-operations throughout the entire globe.

    To see the huge market in narcotics gifted to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists, and corrupt law enforcement.

    To see our society spiral downwards into a dark abyss, while shady corporate entities exponentially enrich themselves.

    These are the dimensions of prohibition; which are terrifying and unconscionable; which are morally repugnant.

    Prohibition is a nasty business.

    Prohibition is about violence.

    Prohibition is about suffering.

  2. $14.7billion tax payer dollars for drug war. $1.4 for prevention. It’s like they don’t want to help addicts, just lock more people up. Yours and my tax dollars to keep fighting a war with no scientific backing. Gov’t must keep feeding the monster. Never ever vote for another incumbent politician again to stop this insanity.

  3. he also said he wouldn’t raise taxes one dime but wants to add a 94 cent tax on cigarettes….2 face lying scumbag….i mean he’s our typical 2 fac3ed lying President…..Elect me as Dictator of the USA and I will give you Weed

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