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December 2004
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Christopher Hitchens gets it

In today’s Slate, Hitchens writes Let the Afghan Poppies Bloom:
How the drug war is undermining the war on terrorism.

Do you know anyone who really believes in the “war on drugs” as it is supposedly waged in the United States? It is widely understood to be the main index of pointless and costly and unjust incarceration, a huge source of corruption in police departments, and a cause of crime in its own right as well as a source of tainted and “cut” narcotics. And that is before you even consider absurdities and cruelties like the denial of medical marijuana, or the diversion of personnel and resources from the war against more threatening gangsters. Our entire state policy, at home and abroad, is devoted not to stopping a trade that actually grows every year, but rather to ensuring that all its profitable means of production, distribution, and exchange remain the fiefdom of criminal elements. We consciously deny ourselves access to properly refined and labeled products and to the vast revenue that could accrue to the Treasury instead of to the mobsters here and overseas.

This demented legacy of the Nixon administration will have to be abandoned sooner or later, and I believe that the threatened sacrifice of Afghanistan to the dogma may be the “tipping point.”

Well said.

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