Obama’s adviser on drug policy wants to see drug addiction treated as a health issue, not a crime:
Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s top adviser on drug policy and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, gave a speech yesterday arguing for the treatment of drug addiction as a public health issue, not a crime. “Drug addiction is not a moral failing on the part of the individual, but a chronic disease of the brain that can be treated,” said the White House drug czar. Kerlikowske argued that the paradigmatic shift in policy focus is necessary because an emphasis primarily on incarceration and the criminal status of drug users fails to treat the problem by disregarding prevention, treatment, and recovery…
This will never go over with the GOP / one percent. Prevention, treatment, and recovery are all fancy socialist words for drug users getting ‘help‘ — which as we all know, and as our Republican friends shout constantly, isn’t what government should be in the business of handing out (for people who aren’t wealthy). Our tax dollars should be going to profitable oil companies, banks who gamble and lose, farmers who grow nothing, and — most importantly — the GOP’s Forever Wars, where ever that will be next.
Treatment instead of incarceration would also mean that private prisons, like Corrections Corporation of America, wouldn’t get as much guaranteed “business” and the massive profits that go along with warehousing non-violent drug users. This is a successful American business model! And most of all, private prisons wouldn’t get all that additional profit from using their prison population as a cheap, almost third-world source of labor for their Fortune 500 buddies. Think of the CEOs and their bonuses!