Politics Methamphetamine Awareness Day
posted by November 30 at 14:22 PMon
In a White House Press release, George W. Bush declared today, November 30th 2006, the national day to recognize the harms of methamphetamine and encourage communities to curb drug abuse.
To help reach these objectives, my proposed 2007 budget includes $25 million to help ensure that Americans have access to effective methamphetamine abuse recovery services and programs.
So three cheers for George Bush, right? I mean, he’s talking about sinking some big bucks into treatment programs, which might actually mitigate the problems that prisons fail to address. But, predictably, this call for treatment and allocation of funds appears mostly a smokescreen for continuing the same-old, ineffective drug war tactics that rely primarily on incarceration. A report (.pdf here) on federal drug spending shows how their budget shapes up:
The Bush Administration is drastically overhauling the way in which the federal drug control budget is determined and presented. This new approach will hide some of the real costs of the drug war, especially the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating a record number of drug offenders. While the revision promises to eventually fix real problems that exist reporting on treatment spending, i.e. the current method overstates how much is actually spent on drug treatment, the planned revision may actually make reporting problems worse.
Official reports aside, my first clue that Meth Day’s call for treatment was a tad disingenuous was not their message but their main messenger: The Department of Justice, which is, of course, in the business of prosecution and incarceration.