Will all mind-altering drugs eventually be decriminalized by the federal government? With its decision to regard drug addiction as an “disease” and “epidemic” and to thereby emphasize treatment over personal responsibility and the deterrence provided by the criminal law, has Congress laid the groundwork?
Before the break for the party conventions and the annual August recess,Congress passed andPresident Barack Obama signed into law the almost unanimously approved Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Democrats and Obama have complained of insufficient funding for the programs in the new law, but that can be taken up in the new session of Congress starting in September. and in the rump, post-election session. The public emphasis of the members of Congress in advocating for the law has been on helping blameless people in need of drug treatment, that is, a kind of constituent service. So, with the upcoming elections, will Congress increase funding this fall?
The new law, enthusiastically celebrated as a showpiece of bi-partisanship, is long and full of details, almost all of which were never discussed or addressed publicly in Congress and never reported on by the media. In advocating for the proposed legislation, many members of Congress brought forth pathetic stories of drug addiction of some of their constituents. Apparently, this act of legislating by an appeal to pity was considered sufficient “consideration” of legislation that is going to have far-reaching consequences that the public has no ability to understand. Since support was overwhelming, there apparently was no need to publish a detailed summary or comprehensive committee report. And neither house did. In the on-the-record discussion of the bill, the possible benefits of enforcing the extant laws on illegal drugs was put way into the background, and, indeed, essentially repudiated. – READ MORE