The anticipated selection of Chief Kerlikowske has given hope to those who want national drug policy to shift from an emphasis on arrest and prosecution to methods more like those employed in Seattle: intervention, treatment and a reduction of problems drug use can cause, a tactic known as harm reduction. Chief Kerlikowske is not necessarily regarded as having forcefully led those efforts, but he has not gotten in the way of them.
Under John P. Walters, the drug czar during most of the administration of President George W. Bush, the drug office focused on tough enforcement of drug laws, including emphases on marijuana and drug use among youths. The agency pointed to reductions in the use of certain kinds of drugs, but it was criticized by some local law enforcement officials who said its priorities did not reflect local concerns, from the rise of methamphetamine to the fight against drug smuggling at the Mexican border.
There has never been a "war" on antiquities looting which could approach the America's often wrong-headed illegal drug policy. But it's hard not to notice the parallels between the potential shift in American policy on drugs and the efforts of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which has achieved some notable policy successes by taking a pragmatic approach, aimed at similar kinds of "harm reduction".
One of the weaknesses with prohibitionism is it restricts supply, without taking account of the potential demand. This makes the targeted trade -- whether it's drugs or guns or antiquities --
this makes the illegal trade more profitable, allowing better more sophisticated tactics to evade law enforcement. There's a good argument I think that some prohibition helps create and incentivize large-scale criminal operations and organized crime networks.