Announced via White House memo late last week, the Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) is facing massive cuts to their current annual budget of $388 million.
Proposed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the New York Times reported on Friday, “the White House is proposing to slash the drug policy office budget by about 95 percent, to just $24 million.”
Chided by lawmakers on both sides of the political divide, the extraordinary cuts to the ONDCP’s 2018 budget would also dismantle two programs meant to combat the federal government’s war on drugs (read: opioid epidemic). Administered by the ONDCP, “the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program and the Drug-Free Communities Support Program,” are considered redundant and are targeted for elimination.
Recently appointed as the acting drug czar by President Trump, Rich Baum conveyed his frustration over the budgetary constraints in a Friday email sent to the ONDCP’s staff:
“These drastic proposed cuts are frankly heartbreaking and, if carried out, would cause us to lose many good people who contribute greatly to O.N.D.C.P.’s mission and core…