You didn't get the memo? Neither did I. Neither did my clients who are in prison for doing no more than providing a product the market demands. But who am I to argue with Gil Kerlikowske, former Seattle police chief and Obama's current drug "czar"? It's been two years, after all (via):
Later, when I asked him whether the War on Drugs was a success, he did a double-take: Didn’t I know that one of his first acts as Drug Czar was to declare the War on Drugs over? Hadn’t I seen that?This master stroke, declaring victory by redefining terms, came in respected hall of international law, the Wall Street Journal in May, 2009. That's it, the War on Drugs is over. Simple as that.
No. I thought the War on Drugs was still on.
'The War on Drugs is over,' he said. 'We’ve stopped looking at it as a criminal justice issue alone.'
Kerlikowske's verbal leger de main puts me in mind of a classic moment in Babylon 5, in which Captain Sheridan is conversing, over dinner, with a "political officer" sent to the station by the new regime to keep everybody in line:
John Sheridan: We have had some problems with the lurkers, but nothing - -Simple as that. Now where's that "Mission Accomplished" banner . . .
Julie Musante: Lurkers?
Sheridan: It's our version of the homeless. In many ways, we have the same problem Earth does.
Musante: Mmm. Earth doesn't have homeless.
Sheridan: Excuse me?
Musante: We don't have the problem. Yes, there are some "displaced" people, here and there, but, uh… they've chosen to be in that position. They're either lazy, or they're criminal, or they're mentally unstable.
Sheridan: They can't get a job!
Musante: EarthGov has promised a job to anyone that wants one. So, if someone doesn't have a job, they must not want one.
Sheridan: Oh. Poverty?
Musante: It's the same.
Musante: Yes, there is some but it's all caused by the mentally unstable. And we've just instituted correctional centers to filter them out at an early age.
Musante: No, we're just one big happy planet. Well, all right, there's the Marsies, but that won't change until they stop fighting the Earth rule.
Sheridan: And, uh w-when exactly did all this happen?
Musante: When we rewrote the dictionary.