Drug policy and control are becoming increasingly important to the federal government. The Obama administration has requested a 1.5-percent increase in government spending for the 2010 fiscal year to be used for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, but the state of Michigan is lagging on this issue. Although addiction touches millions — if not billions — of lives in the United States, there aren’t enough resources provided through the state government, such as treatment services and diversion programs in prisons.

In 2000, California passed Proposition 36, which allowed non-violent drug offenders to choose drug rehabilitation or prison. A cost-benefit analysis conducted in 2006 by the University of California-Los Angeles estimated this act could save the state millions of dollars that would have otherwise been used for prison costs.

Now, in Michigan, we need to unite as a community to spur change for the good of the whole, in terms of finance and the overall health of the state.

Ashley Dominique
School of Social Work

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