...for all the administration's faults, when one looks at the overall picture, I honestly don't think it would be hyperbolic to say that when it comes to federal drug policy, there has been more progress this calendar year than there was in the previous 25 years combined.
Still, one wonders whether the changes will be limited to narrow and specific issues like needle exchange funding or crack vs. powder sentencing, or whether the administration will seek more fundamental change.
By all measures, our current drug strategy has failed. It has been chiefly responsible for the explosion in our prison population and costs taxpayers billions each year. Yet, more than three times as many teenagers have tried marijuana in the United States than have in the Netherlands. And more kids say it is easier to buy marijuana than alcohol.
If we hope to get ourselves out of this mess, reforms on no-brainer issues like needle exchange, sentencing reform, and medical marijuana are a good start. But, ultimately, in order to dig ourselves out of the mess the failed "war on drugs" strategy has caused, we'll need to change our entire strategy to the problem of drug abuse.
Go read the whole thing.