(HT to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition’s Cops say Legalize blog)
The Conference Committee dealing with the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act has approved three significant reforms, following the lead of the House version,
* Washington, DC will finally be allowed to implement the medical marijuana initiative that voters overwhelmingly approved in 1998 but has been blocked by Congress each year since then.
* Funding for the White House “drug czar’s” ad budget has been slashed by more than a third of its size last year. Studies have repeatedly shown that these ads actually cause teens to use more — not fewer — drugs.
* Washington, DC will be able to use federal funds to implement syringe exchange programs.
The advertising budget for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign comes in at $45 million, $25 million below 2009 and the Obama Administration’s request. This follows steady drops since 2000, when the Clinton Drug Czar’s office had a full half billion to play with. in the Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton years, this money was selectively applied to reward networks and other media outlets which played ball with the respective Administrations on unrelated issues, as originally exposed in a series of articles by D. Dan Forbes at Salon.com.
I’m pretty sure the lions share of the credit here goes to House Appropriations Chair Dave Obey, who sat on the Conference Committee, and has been strong behind the scenes on drug policy reform since 2003.