President Trump Requests More Money to Fight Drug War
President Trump’s budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2018 includes the greatest amounts ever requested for two federal programs that are key to anti-marijuana efforts.
In a press release from the Office of National Drug Control Policy released today, Richard Baum, acting director, explained that “The President’s 2018 Budget calls for a larger investment in drug control policy than enacted FY 17 levels,” a request of $27.8 billion.
Included in the increase are a request of $246.5 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and a $91.9 million request for the Drug-Free Communities Support program – both are the highest funding amounts ever requested.
HIDTA is the program that funds partnerships between federal and state law enforcement, including the annual report from the Rocky Mountain HIDTA that uses misleading statistics to frighten Americans about Colorado’s marijuana legalization.
The Drug-Free Communities program issues grants to local anti-drug groups that often spend that money on false propaganda campaigns against statewide legalization initiatives.
The ONDCP’s press release notes that their increased budget request coincides with increased drug abuse in the nation, “driven by an increase in marijuana use.”
“By funding critical public health and public safety efforts,” Acting Director Baum added, “this budget demonstrates the Trump Administration’s commitment to stopping drugs from entering the country and supporting treatment efforts to address the burgeoning opioid epidemic.”
The president’s budget request also includes a $15.6 billion request for law enforcement, interdiction, and international initiatives, often referred to as “supply reduction,” compared to $12.1 billion for treatment and prevention efforts, or “demand reduction.”
This trend of dedicating more of the nation’s drug control budget to supply reduction continues dates back to the Obama Administration, which also spent over 55 percent on law enforcement compared to drug treatment.
However, relatively more funds are being dedicated to prevention efforts this decade compared to the two-thirds of our anti-drug budget spent on law enforcement during George W. Bush’s terms.