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Congress is now discussing bringing back Byrne grants in full force. One leading senate proponent of re-funding the grants is, unfortunately, Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama.
But let's go back to Kentucky.
Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown told one local media outlet of the Byrne-grant bltiz, "The impact of our drug task forces can be clearly seen in the success of this one-day blitz. While combining these efforts in a 24-hour period makes a statement, it's important to remember that these types of activities go on every day, and are a critical tool in eradicating illegal use."
That's one way of looking at it.
But here's a different possibility: If police in Kentucky can go out and find 2,400 pounds of marijuana in 24-hours anytime they want, just to make a political statement, that might be a pretty good sign that the grants—and the drug war in general—aren't working.
Radley Balko is a senior editor for reason.