Your career has taken you from the social services bureau and the youth commission to the White House. The President has appointed you the new drug “czar.” You control $20 billion with which to wage a campaign against drugs. You know that drug use is high, especially among poor, inner-city kids, and that a great deal of criminal behavior is drug related. You also appreciate that drug-dealing gangs are expanding in the United States.
At an opening hearing, drug-control experts express their policy strategies. One group favors putting money into hiring new law enforcement agents who will patrol borders, target large dealers and make drug raids here and abroad. They also call for such “get-tough” measures as the mandatory waiver of drug dealers to the adult court system, strict punishment for drug possession and sale and the death penalty for drug-related gang killings.
A second group believes that the best way to deal with drugs is to spend money on community treatment, expanding the number of beds in drug detoxification clinics and funding research on how to reduce drug dependency clinically.
A third group argues that neither punishment nor treatment can restrict teenage drug use and that the best course is to educate at-risk kids about the dangers of substance abuse and to legalize all drugs but control their distribution. This would, they argue, help reduce crime and violence among drug users and help balance the national debt by heavily taxing narcotics.
In a “white paper” , address these proposals and propose a program for the President.