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August 2005
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Shorter Mark A.R. Kleiman

Jack Shafer is dangerous and wrong, and I’m going to prove it by completely agreeing with every point that he makes.

How bizarre.
Jack Shafer says that crack was a problem and that meth is a problem, but we don’t help the problem by over-hyping. Mark Kleiman says that Shafer is full of it and that while we don’t help the problem by over-hyping, we must recognize that crack was a problem and meth is a problem.
Someone needs to teach Kleiman how to read an entire article.
Kleiman says that Shafer’s “whole thesis [is] that a non-problem is being hyped into a problem.” OK, let’s see…
Shafer about crack:

Lives were lost and families ruined, but as god-awful bad as crack was, it was rarely as bad as the press, government, and the rest of the drug-abuse industrial complex made it out to be. [emphasis added so Mark can see it]

Where did he say it was a non-problem? Not there. In fact, he called it “god-awful bad.” OK. Maybe it’s when Shafer approvingly quoted Newsweek:

The truth is bad enough; there’s nothing to be gained, and a lot to be lost, by hyping the dangers of drugs.” [emphasis added so Mark can see it]

Or maybe Shafer considers meth a non-problem:

Before my in box floods with e-mails accusing me of endorsing methamphetamine, let me extend my strongly worded advice to all: Don’t use this drug. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Don’t.

Somehow Shafer’s “whole thesis” reads a bit differently to me.

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