I was on Reddit earlier today, and came across the following message from one of the best reform activist/bloggers working to end prohibition, Scott Morgan. If you haven’t checked him out at Stop The Dug War or Flex Your Rights, I highly suggest you do so:
I asked the Drug Czar a question today
“Audience members were offered notecards to submit questions, and one of mine was selected. What fun.
Since he talked a lot about the importance of making drug treatment more available, my question was whether it makes since to arrest marijuana users and force them into treatment against their will. He said it was a “myth” that marijuana users are being forced into treatment, but then refuted himself by arguing about how getting arrested is the first step towards recovery.
You can watch the video here (my question is at 37:25, see video below)
There are also good questions from other activists including Neill Franklin of LEAP, Steve Fox of MPP, and Irina Alexander of CJPF, so it’s worth checking out other parts of the video too.”
Below is some background about the event:
Forty years after President Richard Nixon first declared that drug abuse was “public enemy number one,” the Obama administration has announced an end to the so-called “war on drugs” approach to drug policy. Recognizing that America will never be able to arrest its way out of the drug problem, the administration’s newly announced drug policy strategy shifts away from a law enforcement only approach to a drug policy recognizing that America’s drug problem is a public health issue–not just a criminal one. It outlines significant reforms aimed at treating drug addiction as a chronic disease instead of a “moral” failure.
Even though overall drug use is down, and the U.S. prison population declined for the first time in 40 years, more than 7 million people remain under the supervision of the criminal justice system. Of these, more than 2 million are behind bars. Making matters worse, drug-induced deaths now claim more lives than gun violence, and prescription drug abuse has been declared an epidemic. Will these reforms really break the vicious cycle of drug use, crime, incarceration, and rearrest in America?
Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion with Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as he lays out the Obama administration’s new national drug control strategy.