The Global Commission on Drug Policy released its report this week. Dirty hippies like George Schultz and Kofi Annan declared our five-decade War On Drugs a failure that has had "devastating consequences" for societies, governments, and individuals. The commission called on governments to stop treating drugs users like criminals, to legalize some drugs, to provide more addiction services, and to go after criminal networks, not small producers. The Obama administration's reaction:
"Making drugs more available, as this report suggests, will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe."
Billions of dollars spent, millions of lives ruined, skyrocketing incarceration rates—and illegal drugs are available for purchase in every high school and prison in America. The only way to make drugs "more available" would be to install drug-gushing taps in our bathrooms. It's much harder for minors to get their hands on booze. Why? Because booze—a much more harmful drug than pot—is legal and people who make and sell booze don't want to lose their liquor licenses. People could sell booze illegally, of course, and some people might be willing to buy black-market booze. But almost no one does. People prefer to get their booze from legitimate suppliers and self-interest prompts those suppliers to keep their products out the hands of minors.
And for what it's worth: there wouldn't be an Obama administration to react to this report if the president, back when he was using illegal drugs "frequently," had been swept up by the same criminal justice system he's defending today.