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Drug Czar's Office "Obsessed" With Marijuana, Fails To Address 'Hard Drug' Use, Study

Marianne

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The White House Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) has wasted billions of taxpayers' dollars since its formation in 1988 on ineffective and counter-productive policies that fail to meet the agency's core objectives, according to a report released this week by the non-partisan Washington, DC think-tank Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).

"The federal government and the ONDCP have chosen to ignore evidence suggesting that the methods being used in the war on drugs are not effective," the report says. "[T]he federal government has become so obsessed with marijuana use that it is spending money unwisely."

The report cites the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and the Justice Department's decision to prosecute medicinal cannabis patients and their caregivers as examples of two particularly wasteful and counterproductive programs.

"The government has thrown more than $1 billion at a campaign that has only succeeded in increasing the number of teenage marijuana users," the report states, noting that reviews of the media campaign have found that it often encourages - rather than discourages - cannabis use among viewers.

Regarding the Justice Department's prosecution of state authorized medicinal cannabis patients, the report determines: "It is useless to throw millions of dollars into attacking patients that are simply trying to find the most effectual medicine possible. ... tates must be given the right to create and enforce these [medical marijuana] laws within their jurisdiction."

Congress voted 259 to 163 this week to continue enforcing federal penalties upon state-authorized patients.

The CAGW report also rebukes government claims that marijuana serves as a "gateway" to harder drug use, finding that ONDCP policies aimed at reducing marijuana availability are unlikely to make a dent in the use and availability of harder drugs such as *******, methamphetamine, or heroin.

Citizens Against Government Waste issued a similar critique of the ONDCP last year, calling the agency a "federal wasteland" that fails to show objective results.

Newskhawk: Happykid - 420 Magazine
Author: Allen St. Pierre
Source: NORML
Copyright: 2006 NORML
Contact: norml@norml.org
Website: Marijuana Law Reform - NORML
 
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