New York Times, May 5, 2017
Alan Rappeport

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WASHINGTON — When he was running for office, Donald J. Trump promised to rid America of the scourge of drugs, vowing to crack down on dealers and invest heavily in programs to get heroin and other opioids off the streets.

But on Friday, President Trump’s administration revealed plans to gut the 2018 budget of his Office of National Drug Control Policy. According to an Office of Management and Budget document obtained by The New York Times, the White House is proposing to slash the drug policy office budget by about 95 percent, to just $24 million from $388 million.

The cuts would mean the office could lose up to 33 employees. The budget would also eliminate grant programs it administers, including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program and the Drug-Free Communities Support Program. According to the document, the Trump administration thinks the programs are duplicative of other federal and state initiatives.

The proposal was rebuked by Republicans and Democrats as a potentially reckless move. Rich Baum, the acting drug czar appointed by Mr. Trump, expressed anguish about the cuts in an email sent to the office’s staff on Friday. [...]

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