Earlier this week, the White House released a science-driven plan for drug policy reform -- one with “evidence-based reforms” that treat the drug problem as a public health matter.
“Drug policy reform should be rooted in neuroscience -- not political science,” says Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) director Gil Kerlikowske. “It should be a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue. That’s what a 21st century approach to drug policy looks like. ”
In 2007, illicit drug use cost taxpayers more than $193 billion in lost productivity, healthcare, and criminal justice costs. According to the White House blog:
This policy underscores what we all know to be true: we cannot arrest or incarcerate our way out of the drug problem.
The President’s 2014 budget requests $1.4 billion more for treatment and prevention programs compared to 2012 -- the largest requested increase in at least two decades -- citing how every dollar spent on treatment saves four dollars in health care costs and seven dollars in public safety costs.
The National Drug Control Strategy [pdf] promises to reflect on scientific research by:
The report, however, does not tackle the issue of recent marijuana legalization under some state laws.
[White House blog via PopSci, PLOS]
Image: National Institute of Drug Abuse
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com