Keeping the promise of confronting the drug crisis


Wisely, the president is taking time selecting leaders for remaining senior posts, methodically vetting, setting expectations, assuring quality and loyalty. Among posts likely to be nominated early in 2018 — those that affect the nation’s drug crisis. America needs that crisis leadership, now.

At present, key unfilled posts include heads of the Office of Justice Programs, Office of National Drug Control Policy (known as the Drug Czar) and Drug Enforcement Administration. There are others at Justice, Health and Human Services, State and Defense that relate to this crisis.

Naturally, President Trump’s FY19 budget will reflect changes. The administration may return to the Reagan-era model, a strong attorney general and head of Health and Human Services, rather than dominant, Cabinet-level White House Drug Czar. That is fine.

They may migrate supply reduction programs to Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, place management of the National Drug Control Policy’s high intensity drug trafficking areas with Justice and move its Drug Free Communities Act grants, now at the Office of National Drug Control Policy over to HHS.

They may push supply reduction in source countries, especially China, Colombia, Mexico and Afghanistan. They may ramp up maritime interdiction, electronic and physical border protection, monitoring of the U.S. Postal Service.

They may reinstate drug prevention programs nationwide, expand drug testing in schools, monitor the internet an....

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