More Misguided Drug Policy Commentary From Inside the Bubble

Mike Riggs of Reason Magazine rages:

The administration has so few reforms worth touting in the post-drug-war drug war that you’ve probably heard them both several times: It reduced (but did not eliminate) the sentencing disparity for crack cocaine and regular cocaine, and it’s encouraged the use of drug courts over regular courts.

That. Is. It.

Riggs has written some informed pieces on drug policy, but this isn’t one of them.

The term “Affordable Care Act” generates almost 30 million hits on Google, and there can be no doubt that Riggs has heard of it. So why hasn’t he apparently read what it says about drugs and alcohol? Riggs is furious at Neera Tandeen of the Center for American Progress for believing that the Obama Administration has made a major change in drug policy. Instead of maligning her, Riggs should have considered the possibility that she is aware of the provisions of the most important piece of domestic policy legislation in a generation.

The Affordable Care Act is the most sweeping expansion in the quality and quantity of drug treatment in at least 40 years. John McWhorter recently erred mightily by not knowing about it and now Riggs has done the same. Perhaps they talk only to each other and the fact-challenged advocacy groups within the “Obama-is-an-evil-drug-warrior” bubble, which would account for their ignorance and spreading of misinformation. They really ought to get out more.

The Affordable Care Act is not a secret, and its transformative role in drug policy has been well-covered by people such as Jesse Singal and Harold Pollack. Thousands of people in Washington alone could have helped Riggs understand how the ACA is an historic move toward health-oriented drug policy…what a pity he didn’t get outside his bubble before he wrote such a misinformed article.