October 8, 10:00 PM
by Jane Roh, Philadelphia News Examiner
As a legislator from the Midwest, Barack Obama has supported initiatives cracking down on meth. As president, Obama says he would seek stiffer penalties for meth producers and distributors.
On the overall war on drugs, Obama is mainly in line with his party. He has questioned harsh penalties for drug dealers, though as a presidential candidate has reversed previous criticism of the war on drugs. For instance, in 2004 Obama suggested marijuana ought to be decriminalized. In one of the presidential primary debates, however, he seemed to reverse his position.
As recently as March, Obama indicated he was open to changes in federal law he hasn't spoken forcefully about applying parity as president.
Obama has praised the role of drug courts in reducing prison recidivism, and says he would beef up funding for the Byrne-JAG program -- which was reduced under President Bush -- in an effort to target drug-related criminal activity across the country. Obama says he would also pursue a law enforcement pact with Latin American and Caribbean nations to stem drug trafficking and gang activity. restricting medical marijuana use. Obama has said that parity in crack and cocaine sentencing should be retroactively applied, though
Because of his background as a community organizer in Chicago, Obama often speaks passionately about the problems of inner cities. He promotes comprehensive approaches to inner-city blight, such as more after-school programs for youths and drug rehabiliation for inmates. He has indicated support for needle-exchange programs to cut down the spread of HIV/AIDS, and says that as president he would restrict imports of "precursor" chemicals, which are used to make drugs like meth.