Is it time to end the war on drugs?

The White House’s “czar” on drugs has proposed an end to the “war on drugs.

Gil Kerlikowske, a former police chief in Seattle, suggests the Obama administration will pursue a policy of treatment rather than incarceration. He doesn’t have the power to enact such a change; he’ll have to work with a Congress that doesn’t much cotton to running against a barrage of “soft on crime” opposition ads.

It’s a gamble, obviously. Appearing on Daily Show last night, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, noted that the evils perpetrated by the Taliban, come from the fruit of the poppy — heroin.

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There is a cost to this, documented by the War on Drugs Clock Web site. Nearly two million are arrested on drug violations a year. But many people argue the war has been lost.

Is it possible to eliminate a demand only through treatment?