Other federal law-enforcement grants have been cut in recent years (Bush II tried to eliminate most of them entirely) and pressure has grown to use federal grants for projects that do more than just maximize drug arrests. Grits has never been a fan of federal subsidies for local law enforcement functions, believing they artificially boost supply of law-enforcement services beyond taxpayers' actual local level of demand (because the feds borrow to pay for it instead of adopting a pay-as-you-go approach). Moreover, it abrogates the separation of responsibilities under federalism for federal money to pay for local law-enforcement, particularly when they do it in some jurisdictions but not others.
Grits happens to live in the Central East Austin Weed and Seed area and while they've sometimes funded community events with the money, I've never witnessed any public-safety benefit one could peg to the program. Anyway, given my druthers, I'd prefer publicly funded cultural events be financed on their own merits, not as a law-enforcement public relations initiative, which is how Grits perceives much of the Weed and Seed programming. Plus, the "weed" part of the program "consists primarily of suppression activities such as enforcement, adjudication, prosecution, and supervision efforts designed to target, apprehend, and incapacitate," which doesn't sound quite as touchy-feely as their more widely publicized activities.
Budget cuts are often portrayed in the media as an immediate crisis, especially by law enforcement, but they're also an opportunity to overcome inertia and re-assess priorities. Grits won't be surprised (nor disappointed) to see federal law-enforcement grants continue to dry up given the rivers of red ink flowing out of Washington. So much of the federal budget is obligated to military and entitlement spending, these sort of discretionary grants are just the sort of low-hanging