What the Federal Budget Says About the War on Drugs

We are used to the government saying one thing and doing another. Just look at the promises we’ve seen broken by this administration over the past several years. We were told marijuana would be a “low priority”, yet there have been more raids on medical marijuana dispensaries under this administration than any prior. This criticism of politics isn’t just about the current administration, but they are offering a good example of actions speaking louder than words. Case in point: the proposed drug control budget.

Obama’s proposed budget would funnel $9.6 billion into domestic law enforcement. Of this, a whopping 3.7 billion would be used for interdiction (domestic drug enforcement) and 1.4 billion for international drug control. This from the same people who told us the war on drugs was over and that they had “bigger fish to fry”, according to NORML.

Money GraphYou would think the government would invest at least as much to the cause or front end of the problem (prevention) as they are investing on the back end (enforcement). You’d be wrong—way wrong. Only $1.4 billion is earmarked for prevention and education.

We are impressed that $9.3 is marked for drug treatment programs, but with more addicts than there are treatment options, we have to wonder where these billions are really being spent.

As NORML reports:

For all their rhetoric, this recent budget shows that little has changed in the federal government’s priorities when it comes to the War on Drugs. Funding is still disproportionately spent arresting people or diverting them into treatment programs after the fact, while only a small fraction (13%) of the overall drug budget is spent trying to fix the problem before it starts.

The people can only be fooled so many times. When you say one thing and do another it is clear evidence that either you think the people listening are stupid or, in the case of this billion dollar war funneling millions into the criminal justice system, you are just plain evil.

As states are pushing for marijuana legalization or at the very least, reducing penalties for the nation’s “drug” of choice, the federal government is happy to continue on with business as usual, ignoring what anyone else has to say. With the majority of Americans supporting legalization and wanting the feds to back off (potentially saving billions), one has to wonder who the real idiots are.

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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  • matthew d k

    hmm the goverment of coruse.. they spead all this money on something thats not harmful at all . but achol and cigs kill so many more people.. how offen do you hear of people getting hurt becaus eof weed.. i know alot of people.. and my self that need it for our problems.. like my self iv got a list of problems that im not getting into but weed helps me much more then those chiemal pills the doctors shove down your face.. and dos much less damage.. hmm and they refuse to follow suit with the rest of the woruld.. i stop of coruse after being raided over a half once and got changed with a 1200 dolloer fine because i tryied to fight them on the unfair changes.. and i was not evan smokeing at all when they got their.. the govement ruins so many peoples lifes.. on top of no jobs.. what is ever one to do if you try to take everthing from us.. this si not the land of the free .. so many laws anymore your lucke if you can cough with out something badhappening.. you know why they are fighting to keep it illgall because it would save this county.. we would not have to cut down trees we could use it for paper and what ever else.. and rope.. and evan can be used to make meds.. but as i said these greede doctors would like to kill people with those chem meds that detory your brain and body. plus if it was lagal much less people would be in prison and it would save the u.s so much money and get us out of this whole these moren pessidents have dug us into. Hmm and lastly.. why is ahcoal stell lagal ? it dos more bad then anything.. weeds not a gate way gate they use that as a exuse sl these greed goverment people can put money in there pockets.. evan true i do not smoke.. i shopprt makeing it lagal..

    • Sean

      dude… if it helps you learn to spell… I say smoke up bro…. YOU NEED IT!!!

  • Sean

    The REAL idiots, IMHO, are the voters who allow these fatass, socially disconnected, self serving assholes to make/ extend/ enforce these laws for their own benefit. Its also their fault for believing POTUS’s lies, accepting his fat fuck wifes spending, then bitching about the state of the country!!! PERHAPS you morons who voted for this asshat might next time look at his performance rather than his skin color!!!! LISTEN TO THE GODDAMN ISSUES!! this is STILL a democracy… prove it by getting these short sighted pricks out of office.. POTUS immediately before he signs another EX Order to destroy another bit of our great ountry!!