Victory through redefinition:
    hoking the drug budget

John Walsh reports in the latest Drug Policy Analysis Bulletin that the Bush Administration has satisfied the long-expressed desire to rebalance the drug budget between supply-control spending (enforcement) and demand-control spending (prevention and treatment) the old-fashioned way: by lying about it. Suddenly the costs of prosecuting and incarcerating drug dealers have disappeared from the budget, bring prevention and treatment into parity with enforcement.

In a larger sense, the whole issue is a silly one. as Sally Satel and I explained some time ago, but that doesn’t excuse trying to fix it with looking-glass logic.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com