Thursday, January 29, 2004


When I'm posting on the fly, sometimes I don't proof my entries until several hours later. Occasionally I forget to check at all. Such was the case recently when I posted this.

Mark Kleiman finally said something I absolutely agreed with on the shutdown of a government sponsored data collection program called Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM).

I realized I left the impression that I agreed with the premise of his post when I didn't quote the one sentence I agreed with, so here it is:

I suppose if you're running an administration where facts are never allowed to interfere with decisions, it's not necessary to gather any actual data.

I thought the closing of their most cost effective data collection tool on the heels of Bush's proposal to spend 23 million dollars to invade students' privacy with pee testing demonstrates how willing the prohibitionists are to waste your money on programs that contribute nothing to solving the problem of drug abuse. As far as the program itself goes, Talk Left speaks for me.

We think it's a privacy invasion to the inmates. They committed a crime, they go in to do their time. Why should the Government be entitled to their bodily fluids? Sorry, but we don't think a social studies project is a good enough reason.

I agree that we are well rid of this program. Unfortunately, according to Fox Butterfield at the New York Times,

An official of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said that he had "enormous respect" for the jail testing but that budget realities had forced the administration to rethink it. The administration is working on a leaner, less expensive version that will provide a national estimate of drug use among criminals, something that the current program did not do, because its figures are local.

This is only one of many useless data collection programs being paid for with your money in order to justify the ill-conceived agenda of the prohibitionists. Talk Left as always, sums it up well.

Why is the Government spending so much money --$23 million--on social science projects and surveys instead of on providing treatment and alternatives to prison for drug users? Why are inmates being forced to be statistical guinea pigs?

Treatment works, surveys accomplish nothing.


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