The war on the war on drugs

The online community blasts Bush's rumored choice to head the ONDCP.

By Anthony York

Published April 20, 2001 6:21PM (EDT)


Drudge Report:"Supreme Shakeup: Bush White House Plans For Two High Court Retirements"
Online Journal:"Invasion of the Individual Liberty Snatchers!"
Andrew Sullivan: "Prohibition Again"
WorldNet Daily: "Bin Laden Joins Arafat "
Modern Humorist:"Purple Dragon Lunchbox, Mister President"

Big buzz

With stories swirling about a new hard-liner poised to assume control of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Web continues to be a libertarian bastion against the war on drugs. Take, for example, this editorial from Joel Miller at WorldNet Daily, one of the most conservative sites in all of Webland:

"They say there's no more strident a prohibitionist than an ex-drunk," Daily writes. "What that says about George W. Bush's attempt to tighten the thumbscrews in the war on drugs is entirely up for debate. What isn't, according to the April 17 Wall Street Journal, is that the administration is bucking for an 8.3 percent hike in federal funds for the Bureau of Prisons. Such an increase would bring the allocation for federal pens to $4.66 billion, making it the biggest pig in the Justice Department sty."

While Andrew Sullivan says he's "reserving judgement," he does offer this comment about Bush and the drug war. "I see no signs that the new administration won't be even harsher than the punitive Clinton regime. But it would truly be ironic, wouldn't it, if a man who went from cocaine user (he won't deny it) to president wants to initiate a policy that says that all drug-use is a dead-end."

The topic continues to be one of the hottest threads on CNN chat rooms as well as Table Talk.

"During the Presidential campaign the only time that I suspected a human being might lurk behind that smirk was when Bush visited a substance abuse treatment center and chatted with some of the patients," writes one Table Talker. "It looked as though he truly empathised with their plight which made some sense considering his past abuse problems.

"That was either a sham or more likely it is more evidence that Bush is merely a cipher for the right wing that is now running the country. It's obvious he has been told to go play his video games and do exactly what he is told while the adults run the operation. How stupid are these people? All the evidence says that treatment is the only long term solution to drug abuse. Obviously they believe treatment is only an option for the sons and daughters of rich white men."

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Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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