Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Obama Calls For A Ceasefire In War On Drugs

Could it be, that after decades of wasted manpower, money and lives destroyed that the U.S. will plot a new course in dealing with our national drug problem? Obama promised change and in under two months he has done a lot, but the war on drugs? Can that really be turned around? Well, Obama is going to give it a try.

From The Guardian:

The Obama administration signalled today that it was ready to repudiate the prohibition and "war on drugs" approach of previous presidents, and steer policy towards prevention and "harm reduction" strategies favoured by Europe.

David Johnson, an assistant secretary of state, said the new administration would embrace policies supporting federally funded needle exchanges. The aim, he said, was to establish a policy based on public health needs. "This will result in a policy that is broader and stronger than the one we had in the past," Johnson said on the sidelines of a UN drug strategy conference in Vienna.

His words come days after the nomination of the Seattle police chief, Gil Kerlikowske, to the post of director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the nation's drug czar. Kerlikowske has built a reputation in Seattle for pursuing drug policies based on harm reduction. The state has an established needle exchange programme, has legalised marijuana for medicinal purposes and has made marijuana among the lowest priorities for law enforcement.

Smart actions followed by smart words, now that is the President that I voted for. Our country has caused untold damage in Latin America fighting this "war" with no real effect here at home. Finally, we might just begin to treat the problem where it needs treating and from an economic standpoint, cutting the demand with treatment centers will ultimately help lessen the supply.