With the release of the proposed 2013 budget, the Obama administration also released its new drug control strategy. Although the Obama administration has given indications in the past that it’s going to take a more considerate and cost-effective approach to the old, expensive and ineffective War on Drugs, the new strategy does not seem to reflect a new direction. The new strategy allocates more than $25 billion for national drug enforcement, with approximately 60% of the money going towards actual enforcement while only approximately 40% is going towards prevention and treatment. In other words, it appears that approximately 60% of the more than $25 billion in taxpayer money is going towards the same policies and procedures that have not seemed to make any significant progress in drug usage and drug crimes.
The Obama administration is recognizing the shift in drug usage and drug crimes towards pain pills without a prescription and is allocating more funds accordingly. The administration is also calling for increased drug testing with immediate penalties for those who fail drug tests. This includes people under court supervision as well as people in the workplace, where applicable. The new budget and strategy do not give much, if any, credence to those supporting the legalization of marijuana, whether for medicinal purposes or otherwise.
All in all, the Obama administration’s new drug strategy does not appear to be much different from any other president’s drug strategies in recent years since the War on Drugs was initiated.