The Obama administration budget released Wednesday emphasizes drug abuse punishment and interdiction over treatment and prevention, despite recent rhetoric from the Office of National Drug Control Policy on a "21st century" approach.
The White House budget proposal for fiscal 2014
devotes 58 percent of drug-control spending to punishment and
interdiction, compared with 42 percent to treatment and prevention. The
drug control spending ratio in this year's budget is even more lopsided,
62 percent to 38 percent.
"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 Marijuana Majority spokesman Tom Angell.
"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?"