As the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama nears, many Americans are putting together a wish list of the most pressing issues that they would like to see the Obama Administration work on first. While the war on terror continues to take up primary attention worldwide, America’s longest and most difficult war – the War on Drugs – has been given a back seat. However, with recent popular culture depictions of the drug trade and urban blight on the acclaimed show, The Wire (and Obama’s favorite TV show), some digital activists hope that with “change” in the White House, there will also be some change in how to approach this timely domestic issue.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots network of activists concerned about drug abuse, are running an “online rally” on their Facebook group page through the end of January, with a goal of getting 100,000 people to sign a petition, asking Obama to reform the nation’s drug policy. The petition specifically wants the next head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to have a background in health, science, or education rather than in military, law enforcement or “tough on drugs” politics. “The next ‘Drug Czar’ should treat drug abuse as a health issue rather than a criminal issue and move away from a ‘War on Drugs’ paradigm,” according to the group.