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Trump's Budget Doubles Down on the Drug War

February 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Phillip Smith, AlterNet

It's largely a return to the bad old days, with plenty of spending on cops and money to burn on a border wall that will accomplish nothing.


The Trump administration released its proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget Monday, and it looks like a return to last century's failed law-and-order drug war policies. While paying lip service to the nation's opioid crisis, the administration shows its priorities by asking for more money for Trump's quixotic border wall than to actually address opioids.

In contrast with the Obama administration, which sought to tip the balance between law enforcement and treatment and prevention by tilting funding toward more counselors than cops, the Trump budget tilts back toward law enforcement.

The budget would also gut the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP—the drug czar's office), a move that is alarming mainstream critics of Trump's drug policies, but one that more radical critics of drug prohibition—on both the left and the right—are not that upset about. For such critics, the drug czar's office is just one more prohibitionist federal bureaucracy, and shrinking or eliminating it would be a good thing.

But overall, the Trump budget is doubling down on the drug war.

Here are some of the lowlights from the proposed budget:

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