Granted, those of us who work in drug policy reform knew this already.
Nonetheless, it’s doubly satisfying when a former longtime White House employee states the obvious.
The Failure of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
via Huffington Post
As an insider in the nation’s war against drugs, I spent almost fifteen years in the executive office of the President. Eleven of these years were in the Office of National Drug Control Policy where I served four of the nation’s so-called drug czars preparing the federal drug control budget, writing many of the national drug control strategies, and conducting performance measurement and analysis of the efficacy of those strategies. I left government in 2000, but continue to be highly involved in shaping drug policies and measuring performance in drug policy both nationally and internationally.
In the latest 2008 National Drug Control Strategy, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) — the federal executive office agency charged with shaping this nation’s national drug control strategy — claims that America has reached a turning point in the war on drugs. In reality, we have little reason to believe a significant change has occurred.
… Though Congress created ONDCP to formulate research-driven and performance-based policy, assess and modify policy through performance measures, and give a precise accounting of the federal drug control budget, ONDCP fails at all of those tasks. In the 90’s ONDCP created a performance measurement system for evaluating the effects of its policies on drug use, drug availability, and the negative consequences of drug use; however, this decade, no such performance measurement system has been utilized. As a consequence, policy is now flying blind resulting in lost opportunities for more success.
Naturally, the author ultimately fails to suggest any significant changes in US drug policy — such as legalizing cannabis for adults, or disbanding the DEA or the Drug Czar’s office — but, hey, it’s a start.