The current administration has neglected drug control at home and abroad
When he assumed office in 2009, President Obama inherited a drug policy success of unprecedented dimensions. Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and misused opiate prescriptions were all under control or declining. The drug threat, especially for youth, was substantially smaller. That tide of achievement is now reversing.
At the end of the Bush years, youth use of marijuana had declined 25 percent, aided by an effective national media campaign. Youth use of cocaine and heroin had also declined, while psychedelics had plummeted even further, as Ecstasy and LSD collapsed. These achievements, measured by surveys, were corroborated by nationwide workforce drug testing, where rates of positives were in decline.
Nationally, prescription opiate misuse peaked in 2006, and the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005 resulted in steep declines in not only meth use but in the number of toxic labs that produced it.
Internationally, the major source of U.S. heroin and cocaine had been brought under control. Heroin produced in Colombia had dropped so low that U.S. government observations had difficulty finding it.
Significantly, Colombian cocaine production, trafficked through Mexico and funding insurgents and criminal cartels, declined in an unprecedented achievement by nearly 75 percent through partnership programs of eradication, alternative development, and the provision of government security.