President Obama’s choice for drug czar signals a 180-degree pivot from the Bush administration’s policies, the Washington Post reports. The White House says it’s pushing to use alternative drug courts that would mandate treatment, rather than jail, for offenders. That’s a big break from President Bush’s hard-line approach, which focused mostly on staunching the flow of illegal drugs from abroad.
“The success of our efforts to reduce the flow of drugs is largely dependent on our ability to reduce demand for them,” says Gil Kerlikowske, the Seattle policeman nominated to the post. “Our nation’s drug problem is one of human suffering.” Special drug courts have existed since the 1980s, but until now have been used in only about 55,000 of 1.5 million cases each year.