THE POLITICAL INTEREST: THE PHONY DRUG WAR

AS THE POLITICIANS TALK TOUGH, MORE KIDS TURN ON

When he last ran for President, Bill Clinton fixed on the nation's drug problem to blast George Bush savagely. "Bush confuses being tough with being smart," Clinton told me in 1992. "You can't get serious about crime without getting serious about drugs. Bush thinks locking up addicts instead of treating them, or teaching kids to resist using them in the first place, is clever politics. Maybe so, but it's lousy policy and the consequences of his cravenness could ruin us."

From there, Clinton pleaded passionately for treatment on demand and drug education for all. Under Bush, two-thirds of the $13.1 billion...

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