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Drugs – Obama czar leading a liberal shift?

May 24th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

danceIllegal drugs have fleetingly hit the news of late, albeit squeezed by the ongoing stories about MPs expensing their own indulgences.

First we had a morning of sudden crowing from the government about increases in the price of cocaine – “this is a good thing,” so the reports went.

On form as usual, Blogger Costigan pointed out that “no, actually, it’s not.” The illegal status of drugs mean that consumers are unable to distinguish between legal brands, and are often at the mercy of dealers – hence the tampering of the products which sees old Charlie mixed with anything remotely white and powdery. Dealers are therefore making just as much money (so that the price per kilo is the same), but consumers snort more rat poison up their nostrils. Victory for government!

Second, the Centre for Policy Studies issued a new report cleverly saying that conservative anti-drug authoritarian policies are spot on, but just that this hopeless Labour lot haven’t been doing them right. Naturally the Torygraph lapped this up.

Over the pond, however, they seem to be edging in the opposite direction; although slowly, and with caution. Obama’s new drug czar has implied that a policy shift towards treatment and away from incarceration is on the cards.

One new policy over there is to stop federal authorities raiding medical-marijuana dispensaries in the 13 states where voters have made medical marijuana legal. Obama, in a rare moment of sense, has also mentioned reversing the federal ban on funding for needle exchange programmes, which are designed to prevent the spread of HIV.

Like his boss, this new czar is not a real liberal and clearly opposes drug legalisation. However, the mere shift in policy is notable. With Labour up against the ropes, perhaps now is as good a time as ever to highlight the futility of their “war on drugs”, and promote the benefits of a more liberal alternative.


6 Responses to “Drugs – Obama czar leading a liberal shift?”

  1. Ziggy Encaoua Says:

    He ain’t proposing legalization so he he’s still being illiberal as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Angela Harbutt Says:

    I like the idea of Labour going all liberal on us in its dying days. some hope! although…as the left hand does not know what the right is doing anymore and anarchy builds visibly within Government ranks by the day who knows what might slip out.

  3. Jack Elwood Says:

    I certainly hope Labour does not go liberal on us in it’s final days, any policy they create now will be tainted. I honestly have no hope for Obama being a classical liberal in any way. He says he’s stopped the raids, but plenty have gone on since then, he laughed off legalisation in a public meeting, despite it being the most frequent question asked. Anyone still clinging on to his hope and change rhetoric needs to take the blinkers off, he’s just an eloquent bush.

  4. Wayne Lawrence Says:

    “I honestly have no hope for Obama being a classical liberal in any way.”

    He actually told us in the campaign that he isn’t a classical liberal, in several different ways. I just don’t think people saw that through the whole “Yes We Can” rhetoric. The speeches on foreign policy were the flashing red light for me.

    Probably better than the alternative, but won’t turn out to be the second coming after all, methinks.

  5. Ziggy Encaoua Says:

    Yeah why hope for Obama to be a classic liberal when he’s bnever claimed to really be anything like.

    Ironically Carter who’s often seen as the most leftist of presidents in recent decades in fact did have some classical liberal qualities

  6. Angela Wright Says:

    I am very much concerned concerning the upcoming election. Considering what is occuring in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East (not to mention the U.S. economy) we desperately must have a strong leader. I’m not at all convinced that Barack Obama or any of the Republican challengers thus far have the experience or skills it takes to do the job the way it needs to be accomplished. Being president of the U.S. is an astonishingly challenging job. Is there anyone out there with the experience, skill, and moral courage to do the job?