Imagine what the numbers for use, car crashes, treatment and hospitalizations will be if the new Oregon all-drugs decriminalization is implemented. Luckily, Congress, aware of these risks, and despite efforts by Big Pot financial interests to repeat the mistakes of Big Tobacco, has resisted. Federal law on illegality remains and supersedes state laws.
Treatment is a better approach than prison for the individual and society where possible. That’s why drug courts mandating treatment have increased from 12 in 1995 to more than 3,000 now.
Imagine if we decreased by 40 percent the heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, poverty or hunger. Would we say those efforts were a failure? No, we’d say great, but we have more to do. The same is true for drug policy.
Robert S. Weiner, Accokeek
The writer was director of public
affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy from 1994 to 2001.