When it comes to America’s failed war on drugs, many citizens believe that President Obama’s socially liberal policies will finally bring an end to this flagrant abuse of the 4th and 8th amendments. However, according to the 2014 National Drug Control Budget, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 2012 was a banner year for marijuana smokers across the country, with victories for legalization in Washington and Colorado, setting a precedent for more potential victories in the future. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as federal law enforcement agencies step up their efforts to arrest drug users, regardless of state laws. What this translates to for recreational drug users, is regardless of what your duly ratified state laws say about drugs, the federal law is designed to effectively nullify it.
While many consider the war on drugs to be an ineffectual relic of the Bush era, it is still going on in full force according to the Obama administration’s expenditure budget. As far as the fed is concerned, enforcing the war on drugs is still a more vital aspect of curbing recreation drug use than say, education and prevention. The most recent budget allocates 9.6 billion dollars to be spent on drug law enforcement, 3.7 billion dollars for interdiction, and a paltry 1.4 billion dollars for prevention. This means that there is a 9 to 1 ratio of money being spent on punishing those deemed as wrongdoers, than stopping the problem of drug addiction before it even starts.
Despite President Obama’s pledge to halt the war on drugs, it is business as usual for the DEA, with no apparent end in sight for the year 2014. Although experts have proven time and time again that the tactics used in the war on drugs only serve to create a stronger market for drugs, and bring violence to less economically well off communities, the federal government maintains its stance on continuing the war on drugs. One of the many side effects of the war on drugs, is the staggering prison population when compared to other 1st world nations. This is due to the federal government’s stance on punishing drug users, rather than educating and helping them. This problem has exploded to the degree that over half of the male prison population of the United States is in there over a trumped up drug charge.
All in all, despite President Obama’s campaign pledge to end the war on drugs, there is no conceivable end in sight for the 2014 fiscal year. As more and more lawmakers are putting laws on the books about legalizing less injurious drugs such as marijuana, the federal government is stepping up its efforts to squash them, and arrest drug users and traffickers, spending up to 9 times on enforcing it’s outdated drug laws, than educating the youth about the dangers of drug use.