President Obama's National Drug Control Strategy in 2010 first proclaimed the major policy goals of the administration's approach to the drug problem and the goals were to be met by 2015. Not only have they not been met, in critical instances, the policies have been going in the wrong direction, rapidly.
We learned last week that, in the midst of the ongoing opiate overdose crisis, heroin overdose deaths rose an additional 28 percent between 2013 and 2014. That's on top of the 340 percent rise in heroin deaths since 2007, such that beyond the 8,217 deaths of 2013, we now have another 10,574. That is, we now see a 440- percent increase from the Bush years.Read more
After the removal of Ronald Rogers, the long-serving Pardon Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice who failed to please President Obama over issues of clemency, his replacement, Deborah Leff, has begun to operate the new ‘Clemency Project 2014.’ It is an effort to turn felons back on the streets, under more relaxed criteria.Read more
President Obama this week told an audience in Jamaica that U.S. efforts against illegal drugs were “counterproductive” because they relied too much on incarceration—particularly for “young people who did not engage in violence.”Read more
In April of this year, the Obama administration announced it would “reformulate” clemency guidelines for federal prison offenders. As the Washington Post described it, “Justice Department Prepares for Clemency Requests from Thousands of Inmates The paper claimed that this “unprecedented campaign to free nonviolent offenders” would continue for two years and that DOJ would “reassign dozens of lawyers to its understaffed pardons office to handle the requests from inmates.”Read more
A poll reported in the Washington Post on September 23 offers positive news for those troubled by the movement to legalize marijuana. It also does not augur well for those pushing more states to follow Colorado and Washington, where legalization is already underway.Read more
President Obama visited Denver this week, was offered marijuana, and laughed. His administration made possible the open marketing and use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state by directing that federal law not be enforced. The president is joined by Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul in supporting marijuana legalization. As Clinton recently told CNN, "On recreational marijuana, states are the laboratories of democracy.Read more
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