But as you mull what the end of the War on Drugs, or the beginning of the end, would look like, I still think it comes down to a public policy choice of whether you treat drug use as primarily a criminal matter or a public health matter. By virtually every metric -- especially funding -- we still approach drug use as a crime not as a health issue. Until we begin to shift substantial public resources from jails and policing to treatment and rehab, we're still coming at this problem from the wrong direction. (To be clear, I don't think legalization of all controlled substances is the solution, and law enforcement will always have some role to play.)
In that context, I'm not sure yesterday's announcement was a step in that direction. Maybe with the benefit of hindsight, we'll see piecemeal pot legalization as our first shuffling steps away from the crime and punishment paradigm and toward health and treatment. But it doesn't look like that from this vantage point ... yet.
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