The Obama Administration’s Public Health Approach to Drug Policy

Submission Date: February 1, 2011
Attributing Author: Gil Kerlikowske
Source: Huffington Post

A “War on Drugs” mentality is too simplistic an approach to be effective.

President Obama’s comments during last week’s live YouTube interview about the need to approach our national drug problem from a public health perspective were timely, thoughtful, and well-grounded in what science tells us about drug use and its consequences. Like the president, I am opposed to the legalization of illegal drugs. At the same time, I understand, from first hand experience as a police officer and police chief, that we cannot arrest or incarcerate our way out of a problem this complex, and that a “War on Drugs” mentality is too simplistic an approach to be effective.

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