WASHINGTON, DC—Seeking to "narrow the focus of the drug war to the true enemy," Congress passed a bill legalizing drug use for the gainfully employed Monday.
"Stockbrokers, lawyers, English professors… you're not the problem here," said DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson at a White House press conference. "If you are paying taxes and keeping your yard tidy, we're not going to hassle you if you come home from a hard day of work and want to enjoy a little pot or blow. But if, on the other hand, you're one of these lazy, shiftless types hanging out on the street all day looking for your next high, we're coming after you."
The new law, which goes into effect May 1, will enable police departments and courts to focus on what Hutchinson called "the real drug offenders."
"There's no point going after some cardiac surgeon who needs some speed to keep him sharp," Hutchinson said. "That's not what the law was intended to prevent. But the more destructive drug users—the addict who spends his welfare money on crack, the guy in Harlem who smokes marijuana—that is something that we as a society must not tolerate."
According to Drug Czar John P. Walters, the legislation should have a beneficial effect on the health of the American people.
"As a result of this new law, we expect use of addictive, harmful drugs like heroin and crack—those statistically more likely to be linked to unemployment—to drop," Walters said. "Meanwhile, decent people with good jobs can continue their responsible use of milder drugs like E and cocaine in peace."
Walters said the new legislation will make it significantly easier to fight the drug war. The nation's courts will not be clogged with cases involving club kids caught with "Vitamin K" or doctors prescribing Vicodin to rich housewives. More money can be freed up to build prisons to keep chronically unemployed addicts in jail and off the streets—the only statistically proven method of improving an addict's chance of recovery.
"Clearly, a lot of people doing drugs simply cannot handle them," Walters said. "We've got to get the drugs out of the hands of these people, and give them back to the weekend user."
The law, Hutchinson noted, will also help protect the nation's poor and unemployed, who are not as equipped to handle the effects of drug addiction as their more affluent counterparts.
"Drugs are addictive, and that's true whether you're a ghetto gang member or a Harvard-educated entertainment lawyer," Hutchinson said. "But the cold, hard truth is, if the ghetto kid gets hooked, he isn't going to clean up in a rehab clinic in Palm Springs and maybe even become president, now, is he? That's why we need to protect the less fortunate among us with the threat of arrest and incarceration."
The U.S. economy also stands to benefit. Initial surveys indicate that the threat of jail will motivate recreational drug users to seek employment, reducing the nation's welfare rolls.
"Legal weed versus jail?" asked Cory Everly, 23, an unemployed Austin, TX, singer-songwriter. "I am so totally going down to the sub shop today to ask Rudy for my job back."
Added Everly: "Rudy's my boss… at the sub shop."
"The new American motto is 'Work Hard, Play Hard,'" Hutchinson said. "Do a few bumps of coke at your gay friend's party. Go to your be-in or your Lollapalooza rave or whatever it's called this year. But you'd better make it in to work on Monday, buddy, or you're going to jail."
"Sorry if some of my comments have been a bit rambling and unfocused," Hutchinson added. "I'm a little high right now."