“In the final days of the Obama administration, with abuse of prescription opioid drugs and heroin on an alarming rise, a clear picture is beginning to emerge of a federal government open to more drug policy reform than any in recent memory.
At the top of the list is the fiscal year 2017 budget requested by Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), often known as the nation’s “drug czar.” Established by the Reagan-era Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, the Office has long served as a rubber-stamp clearinghouse for unlimited funds for the world’s most militarized drug cartel (the DEA) and other law enforcement agencies.
No longer. Since the years of Obama’s first term in office, the president’s budget has quietly and steadily increased funds for addiction treatment and prevention, and with its request for fiscal year 2017 has shifted funds away from law enforcement; now, for the first time in US federal history, requested funding for such compassionate efforts has exceeded the same figure for law enforcement: $15.8 billion vs. $15.3 billion. This shift has resulted from moderate but significant cuts to the DEA and other law enforcement agencies (between 5-8% compared to the previous year), with the savings earmarked for vital, evidence-based programs like Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT, with double the funding of last year) and access to the fast-acting overdose prevention drug, naloxone. Also receiving increased funding are efforts to treat addiction in prison inmates and parolees and to find housing for the homeless — programs proven through experience to work better at combatting drug addiction than any carceral approach.”
Source: TheLeafonline.com – February 16, 2016