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by Peter Moskos

April 24, 2013

The War on Drugs is (Not) Over

Despite the false promises of White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, it's the same old same old. This from LEAP's Sean Dunagan:
If you haven’t seen it, the National Drug Control Strategy and accompanying budget and performance summaries are out. Requested funding for 2013 totals $25.6 billion, a $415 million increase over last year. The allocation is 58.8% for law enforcement and interdiction (vs. 59.7% last year) and 41.8 percent for treatment and prevention (up from 40.3% last year). 

Notably, the “prevention and treatment” funding includes gems like $20 million for the ludicrous “above the influence” media campaign and $5 million for mandatory drug testing. Despite the “change in strategy” spin, 58.8% is the same percentage that went to LE/interdiction in the 2008 drug control budget. 

The request for domestic LE, $9.4 billion, is the highest amount ever and a $1.15 billion increase over 08 (+ $61.4 million over last year). The request also seeks $120 million more for the BOP, $89.3 million more for interdiction, and $40.9 million more for DEA. Interestingly (at least to me), the request acknowledges that 51.4 percent of BOP's budget is drug-related (p. 165). On a positive note, requested funding for treatment is up 4.6 percent.
 A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money.

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