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Reefer Roundup: 4/20/12

Reefer goes 4/20

By Jordan Smith, 2:11PM, Fri. Apr. 20, 2012

Hey, is that City Hall? Sure is! Man, I guess the city really means it when it says we should all
Hey, is that City Hall? Sure is! Man, I guess the city really means it when it says we should all "Grow Green."
Photo by John Anderson

Just in time to celebrate all things April 20, the feds have released their latest National Drug Control Strategy. And don't you know it? It's more of the same!

So, according to U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, the 2012 strategy, released by his office, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, builds on the "new direction" in drug control that the Obama Administration debuted in 2010. How is it different, you ask? Apparently because the ONDCP engaged in "unprecedented consultation" with governmental stakeholders to come up with it's plan to rid America of the scourge of illegal drugs.

Of course, it hasn't exactly worked – nor do we imagine it ever will. Maybe that's cynical, but hey, there's nothing to suggest that humans will ever stop indulging, nor is there anything to suggest the government will ever stop smashing it's head against the same old drug war wall every year.

So, what's up in this year's report? A couple things. First, among the "goals" that the ONDCP would like to see accomplished by 2015 is a 15% reduction in the number of chronic drug users in the U.S., as well as a 15% reduction in past-month drug use by teens and a 10% decrease in drug use by young adults, 18-25. Ambitious, indeed. Good luck.

Of course, whether we'll realize reductions by stopping use, aiding addicts, or simply locking folks up, remains to be seen. The budget proposes $9.2 billion in 2013 for "early intervention and treatment services." That's a lot of dough, and a hefty 4.6% increase over the 2012 budget, so it's encouraging – on its face. Indeed, the proposed 2013 budget for domestic law enforcement programs – that's the busting part – totals $9.4 billion. While that part of the budget would grow far less – just .7% increase – we still seem to be operating from the same heavy-on-punishment approach we always have.

Perhaps next year.

You can read the entire strategy here.

FIGHT THE POWER!:

For all of you who've had enough with the status quo, rally around the 11th Street IH-35 overpass today at – when else? – 4:20pm for the monthly protest put on by the Texas Hemp Campaign.

Find more on their monthly protests, and other activities, here.

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