GAO Report: Administration’s Anti-Drug Strategies Fail To Meet Stated Objectives

GAO Report: Administration's Anti-Drug Strategies Fail To Meet Stated ObjectivesWashington, DC: The federal government’s anti-drug efforts are inefficient and ineffective, according to a report issued last week by the Congressional watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The report assessed whether the Obama administration’s anti-drug strategies, as articulated by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in its 2010 National Drug Control Strategy report, have yet to achieve its stated goals. In virtually all cases it had not, authors reported.

Concluded the report: "The public health, social, and economic consequences of illicit drug use, coupled with the constrained fiscal environment of recent years, highlight the need to ensure that federal programs efficiently and effectively use their resources to address this problem. ONDCP has developed a 5-year Strategy to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences, but our analysis shows lack of progress toward achieving four of the Strategy’s five goals for which primary data are available."

Specifically, the GAO report’s authors criticized the administration for failing to adequately address rising levels of youth marijuana consumption. They also rebuffed the ONDCP’s allegation that increased rates of adolescent marijuana use are a result of the passage of statewide laws decriminalizing the plant or allowing for its therapeutic use, stating: "The studies that assessed the effect of medical marijuana laws that met our review criteria found mixed results on effects of the laws on youth marijuana use. … [S]tudies that assessed the effect of marijuana decriminalization that met our review criteria found little to no effect of the laws on youth marijuana use."

Full text of the report is online at:

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: