Obama Just Re-Authorized the War on Drugs While Pretending to Reform It

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Written by: Carey Wedler at theantimedia

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Though President Barack Obama often masquerades as a savior of the oppressed and downtrodden, his actions speak louder than his rhetoric. His stance on the War on Drugs is no different. In the budget the president just submitted to Congress, he allocates $1 billion more than last year ($26.34 billion to $27.57 billion) to continue the War On Drugs — the war that in rhetoric, he acknowledges has been unsuccessful. Before he was president, he said,

“The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. We need to rethink how we’re operating the drug war.”

In 2012, he then backtracked on decriminalization.

Nevertheless, his 2015 budget claims to be a,

“21st century approach to drug policy that outlines innovative policies and programs and recognizes that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern…”

He calls for

“….an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, effective law enforcement, and international cooperation.”

While he preaches high and mighty, Obama has appropriated an increase in funds directed toward the War on Drugs. According to Obama, to fight it, the Departments of Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security (as well as the Drug Czar) alone should receive over $14.5 billion.

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The decades old Drug War funding ratio of law enforcement vs. treatment and prevention is still 60:40. While the DOJ, DOD, and DHS get $14.5 billion, Health and Human Services get $10 billion ($6 billion of which goes to Medicare and Medicaid).

As further detailed by Alternet:

“Justice Department drug war spending would increase from $7.79 billion this fiscal year to $8.14 billion next year under the president’s proposal. That includes nearly $3.7 billion for the Bureau of Prisons (up $187 million), $2.46 billion for the DEA (up $90 million), $519 million for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (up $12 million), and $293 million for the Office of Justice Programs (up $50 million).”

The $27 billion toward drug control overall spans 16 agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Agriculture.

In classic Obama smoke-screen style, there are some decreases in funding with regard to the Office of National Drug Control Policy ($375 million to $307 million),  the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program ($245 million to $193 million) and the Department of Defense drug spending (1.307 billion to $1.267 billion).

Obama further asserts in his budget that the recent D.C. legalization of marijuana will stand, in spite of Congressional attempts to nullify it in a recent spending bill.

Nevertheless, the president’s past and present actions show he has no intention of actually reforming or ending the Drug War. His DEA was still raiding medical marijuana dispensaries last year and continues to, even after Congress banned the use of DOJ funds to interfere with state laws. His new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, is a dedicated drug warrior, the DEA still classifies marijuana as a dangerous Schedule I drug, and the IRS, under his watch, still sneakily attempts to drive marijuana shops (where it’s legal) out of business.

These halfhearted attempts to appease public outrage mirror other Obama trends. He similarly called for an investigation into police militarization and brutality, only to appoint a corrupt police commissioner to consult on the project. His agencies refused to press charges against Darren Wilson. While putting police militarization under “review” and scrutiny, he continues to condone arming police with military equipment (throwing in a few restrictions and hurdles). He also spent his most of his administration facilitating this militarization.

While George Bush was just as violent and corrupt as Obama, the current president has a knack for concealing his true intentions and seamlessly fooling the people. Bumbling Bush was not nearly as conniving or cunning in his swindle of citizens, but Obama has expertly perpetuated total surveillance, corporatism, and war under the guise of freedom, equality, and peace. His stance on the Drug War is yet another example of his commitment to exercising unjust authority in a creatively oppressive way.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Legalize all drugs and see what happens…Do something different you moron. 40 years of a waste of time, money, and resources. Compare the same 40 years with the tobacco industry….and what do we have less smokers. It’s called educating people …the tobacco industry was forced to do it so why not the drug industry. Oh yea they have a little deeper pockets don’t they. Legalize It = Less abusers, Less criminals, Less gangs, and puts a safer taxable drug on the market in which you would have to convince your legal drug dealer (Doctors) you are in need. Which isn’t that freaking hard to do…Win Win situation.

  2. How about this no more war on anything. Its obvious it doesn’t or hasn’t worked in 40 years or ever. What makes you think it will make a difference this time….My opinion get the the hell out of my seat. I got some changes to make starting with war on or with anyone. Unless our homeland is being compromised we officially don’t give a rats ass. How the hell can we fix our own problems when we are screwing around in some country we don’t belong or give a crap about. You educate our children to not be bullies how about practicing what we teach and start dealing with our problems in this country……

  3. Only war the fed’s should be having is the “War on Poverty” and redirect the remaining funds instead of going after drug cartels to treatment centers that give free treatment to people that are abusing real Class 1 drugs like Meth, Heroin and Cocaine, once people don’t want drugs they won’t be much of an issue.

    2 Birds, 1 Stone.

  4. because…a POWERFUL religious cult of Urine examiners controls both Parties AND the U.N. While most get over such “activity” when 4-5 years old, THEY are making BILLION$ on it, so too them, it’s a religious activity. They( and x UN delegates have pushed Madagascar into the STONE age, banning all trade. Yet, NYC is just as much a “trans-shipment” point as Madagascar is…

  5. I believe that instead of having a war on drugs, they should give confirmed addicts a prescribed amount of the drug, giving them the effect but not enough to make them go crazy, then gradually lessen the dosage amount until they are no longer addicted, taking all the violence out of getting the drugs and their side effects! It sure beats having a D.E.A. agent undercover setting up innocent people, offering them a spot in the drug trade, then expecting them to know someone big! What hypocrisy from the U.S. Government

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