Senators Corey Booker (D, NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) stopped by the Manhattan office of the Drug Policy Alliance Sunday afternoon to promote their new bill, "The CARERS act". Marijuana is currently a schedule 1 drug, the same as heroin.
Sadly, the administration continues to keep its head in the sand when it comes to the massive number of arrests each year for marijuana and other drugs. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being arrested each year for nothing more than possession.
While it is truly great to see ONDCP trying to help prevent overdoses, they're still missing the big picture -- the criminalization of drug use is what's predominantly driving the harms associated with drug use.
Damaging cuts caused by sequestration have placed real obstacles in the way of ensuring full support for services and programs that expand prevention, treatment and smart-on-crime initiatives that represent a 21st century approach to drug policy. But there is good news...
This morning, President Obama nominated Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, to be the Customs Commissioner. Kerlikowske has been an unimaginative drug czar, often invisible. His departure is good news for drug policy.
This year, exactly three decades after both Democrats and Republicans first focused on creating the office that today leads drug policy efforts, both parties should co-lead today's drug challenges based on what we know can work.
Though the White House's new National Drug Control Strategy embraces specific policy options counter to those of the past thirty years, it differs little from its predecessor on fundamental issues of budget and drug policy paradigm.
President Obama spoke for millions when he said drug use should be treated as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. He has failed, however, to change the drug war budget in a meaningful way.