Chief Kerlikowske said "it's an incredibly complex problem." Formerly the focus was on cutting the supply of illicit drugs from foreign countries; now it will be on curbing drug use in communities across the United States.
"The success of our efforts to reduce the flow of drugs is largely dependent on our ability to reduce demand for them," Kerlikowske said yesterday at a ceremony attended by his former law enforcement colleagues. "Our nation's drug problem is one of human suffering, and as a police officer but also in my own family, I have experienced the effects that drugs can have."During the campaign, President Obama promised to offer first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentences in a drug rehabilitation center rather than in prison. With this initiative, the administration will be embracing an idea that has broad support in theory but has yet to be widely practiced. What do you think? Is this part of the solution? Certainly this would ease the prison overpopulation problem, but would it produce better results with regards to reducing the demand for drugs in America?
Kerlikowske's adult stepson, Jeffrey, has been arrested in the past on drug charges, an issue that the police chief referenced in his remarks yesterday.
What about the question of personal responsibility? Isn't a lot of this policy based upon the idea that drug addicts are less culpable for their actions simply because they're addicted? Is that a problem? Does it undermine the foundation of holding people to a standard of personal behaviour? If the addict gets a break, say treatment instead of prison, does that somehow harm the non-addicted offender who has to do jail time? Is that what the responsibility demanders are upset about, that it's not fair?
What's your opinion?