U.S. Drug-Policy Reform Seen As Incremental


For a majority of Americans, the failure of anti-drug policy has become self-evident, contends the American Prospect. Recent polling found that more than 75 percent of people in the U.S. believe the drug war has not worked and will not work in the future. The magazine says drug czar Gil Kerlikowske “sees himself as a credible mouthpiece who can say the things that cops, conservatives, and other longtime drug warriors” don’t want to hear: the drug problem is an addiction problem.

There’s little clarity on the ultimate end goal of drug-policy reform. “There is no 18th amendment of drug prohibition that’s going to be repealed,” says Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Reform is only going to happen in an incremental way.” The Prospect concludes that, “If Obama and Kerlikowske sit back, let the states work as laboratories for drug-law changes, and focus simply on changing the tenor of the discussion in D.C. while also achieving a few modest federal policy reforms, it will, in fact, amount to a significant change.”

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