I think it was time to end the war on drugs, because a ton of people use drugs nowadays, so it does not seem to be working. I'd much rather be spending money on researching for neuroscience than spending tax dollars on drug users who will not benefit society in any way.
It was Nixon who declared the "War on Drugs", however the Reagan years were the ones that saw such a huge increase in drug-related arrests and incarceration. The war on drugs has resulted in prison overcrowding and a strain on the taxpayer. It has done little to nothing to curb drug abuse, addiction, and trafficking. I think Obama's shift toward prevention is a shift in the right direction.
Neuroscience is important don't get me wrong. But it's overemphasized. If we observe that some factor X helps people get out of an addiction it doesn't matter whether or not we understand the neuroscience of it. Neuroscience is just another tool of observation to lead to inferences and testable hypotheses about how to help someone get over an addiction. We shouldn't exclude observations about things that don't involve neuroscience but rather involve observing how factors in the environment lead people to get out of addiction. Yes, even then neuroscience is technically involved because the environment filters in through the person's brain but it's not necessary for us to understand the exact mechanics in the brain to observe that it's helping the person. Understanding the exact mechanics could lead to more observations and more help so it's still worthy to research but we shouldn't have to wait for neuroscience in order to go through with something if it can already be observed and proven to lead to the outcome of more people leaving their addiction behind.
Yes, I think that in the twenty-first century that it is time for Obama to shift his strategies and efforts on Reagan's War on Drugs to put more focus on prevention and neuroscience. I think that by advancing neuroscience and prevention that will in turn start to curb the number of smokers in the world.