|Neill Franklin, LEAP: “I cannot understand why they’re dumping more money into arrests, punishment and prisons that the Bush administration ever did”|
“Who ever heard of curing a health problem with handcuffs?”
~ Neill Franklin, LEAP
On Monday the Obama Administration released its new National Drug Control Strategy for 2011 and, instead of coming through with its much-touted “shift” in drug control resources toward prevention and away from punishment, the document spends several pages disparaging the idea of legalizing and regulating substances like marijuana.
“It’s sad that the drug czar decided to insert a multi-page rant against legalizing and regulating drugs into the National Drug Control Strategy instead of actually doing his job and shifting limited resources to combat the public health problem of drug abuse,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and a former Baltimore narcotics cop.
“Obama administration officials continually talk about the fact that addiction is a medical problem, but when our budgets are so strained I cannot understand why they’re dumping more money into arrests, punishment and prisons than the Bush administration ever did,” Franklin said. “The fact is, once we legalize and regulate drugs, we will not only allow police to focus on stopping violent crime instead of being distracted by arresting drug users, but we will also be able to put the resources that are saved into building treatment and prevention programs that actually work.
“Who ever heard of curing a health problem with handcuffs?” Franklin asked.
The White House report goes on to slam the idea of medical marijuana specifically, even though many prominent medical organizations have pointed out that cannabis has medical value.
This comes less than a week after the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice put out a memo effectively reneging on the President’s campaign promise not to spend limited federal resources interfering in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
“With polls showing that 80 percent of Americans support medical marijuana one wonders how this reversal fits into the president’s re-election strategy,” said Tom Angell, media relations director at LEAP.