This answer comes from a discussion from Rocky's AMA.
I have opposed the so-called "war on drugs" for many years. (I highly recommend Dan Baum's book Smoke and Mirrors. An excellent history of the "war on drugs".) One of the first things I did as Mayor of Salt Lake City was to end the DARE program -- a major scam pulled on the people of the U.S. As I pointed out, there was not one peer-reviewed published study demonstrating that DARE was effective in preventing long-term drug abuse. I also spoke at the Shadow Convention in Los Angeles in 2000 about the miserable failures of the "war on drugs" -- an at drug policy conferences hosted by the Drub Policy Alliance.
Our drug laws have caused untold tragedy around the world. Just witness Juarez, Tijuana and other border communities in Texas. Substance abuse should be treated primarily as a public health matter, rather than dealing with it in a retributive criminal justice system. Why did we do away with prohibition of alcohol -- and why do we not prohibit tobacco? One must honestly ask why we continue to spend billions of dollars on failed source control and drug interdiction programs, while ignoring effective solutions. We should be focusing our resources on effective drug education and prevention programs and provide treatment on demand.
Far too often, only the wealthy can afford substance abuse treatment. For others, they can usually only access treatment if they are arrested and run through an expensive criminal justice system. Because of my advocacy for drug law reforms, I received the Drug Policy Alliance Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award. I worked for many months and obtained a presidential pardon for Cory Stringfellow, who was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in a federal penitentiary for his first drug conviction (and had served over 5 years). As President, I would carefully consider pardons or commutations for non-violent drug offenders, particularly those who were sentenced under minimum-mandatory laws that do not take into account the circumstances of each case.