The National Academy of Public Administration just released a devastating Senate-commissioned report detailing the failures of the drug czar’s office during the Bush administration.
Here are a few key findings from the report:
1) That the drug czar’s obsession with youth marijuana use hindered the office’s ability to construct a more coherent overall strategy for drug policy
2) That the drug czar’s office manipulated data to exaggerate — and in some cases fabricate — progress in reducing drug use and drug trade violence
3) That the drug czar’s office established a political litmus test in hiring interns
4) That the drug czar’s office refused to make itself accountable to Congress
5) That the drug czar’s office failed to staff key positions with the kinds of policy experts who may have been able to develop effective strategies
Many of the findings echo what the Marijuana Policy Project has been saying for years, namely that the drug czar’s irrational and singular focus on marijuana has damaged both the credibility of U.S. drug policy and its ability to reduce the harm caused by drugs and the drug trade.
Let’s hope those President Obama taps to clean up the mess left by Walters and his crew take heed.