Although the White House previously toyed with the idea of eliminating the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the details of President Trump’s latest budget proposal suggest that not only is the agency here to stay, but Trump also wants Congress to provide it with additional funding to ramp up the nation’s anti-drug efforts.
It was just a few weeks ago that Trump got behind a proposal to strip 95 percent of the ONDCP’s budget, killing two of its most popular anti-drug programs. But the president is now calling for a much larger “investment in drug control policy,” requesting nearly $28 billion to keep the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ($246.5 million) and the Drug-Free Communities ($91.9 million) programs operating at full speed.
Unfortunately, Trump’s proposal does not support progressive policy when it comes to combating national drug concerns. He still wants more funding poured into interdiction and enforcement tactics than efforts geared toward treatment and prevention. If Trump’s request is granted, it would ensure that the latter programs receive millions of dollars less than cops and other soldiers of sober society.
The new budget proposal is a relatively good indication that the Trump administration is in no way prepared to approach the War on Drugs 2.0 in a different manner than the hammer fisted methods we’ve come to expect from the federal government.
Sadly, the budget also suggests cutting existing mental health and substance abuse prevention programs by $308 million.
Any guess where that money would go?
Apparently, Trump would rather see the funds go to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has complained in the past that he doesn’t have the necessary resources to crackdown on legal marijuana. The proposed budget would give the Department of Justice a $318 million raise to fight against the national drug problem, which is “driven by an increase in marijuana use,” according to a press release from the ONDCP.
However, Congress must first approve the budget before Trump gets his way.
A recent transcript obtained by the Washington Post shows Trump recently told Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that he is doing an “unbelievable,” “great job” combating his country’s drug problem using extreme violence and martial law.