by David Downs
From Tuesday's NYT article "Rise in Pill Abuse Forces New Look at U.S. Drug Fight":
“The policies the United States has had for the last 41 years have become irrelevant,” said Morris Panner, a former counternarcotics prosecutor in New York and at the American Embassy in Colombia, who is now an adviser at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “The United States was worried about shipments of cocaine and heroin for years, but whether those policies worked or not doesn’t matter because they are now worried about Americans using prescription drugs.
"... last week by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a former federal prosecutor, ... declared the war on drugs 'a failure' that imprisons people who really need treatment.
"... a major change in policy is not imminent — 'It’s all aircraft carriers, none of it moves on a dime,' as one senior Obama administration official put it — the election of a new president in Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, is very likely to have an immediate impact on the debate. Mr. Peña Nieto has promised to focus not on drugs but rather on reducing the violent crimes that most affect Mexicans."