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May 2006
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Liberal netroots progressive on drug policy?

I have often complained that neither side of the political spectrum has been willing to consider reform in any serious way, despite the fact that drug policy reform is a benefit to both traditional conservative and traditional liberal goals.
While that’s still true in the traditional party structure, the internet is changing everything.
We’re already seeing that the blogosphere has the burgeoning capability of revolutionizing political structures (particularly on the left), with the power of sites like Daily Kos (and Markos’ successful Crashing the Gate.
And we have Glenn Greenwald (who has demonstrated a strong anti-drug-war viewpoint — see here and here) taking the internet and the publishing world by storm, with the unprecedented runaway pre-sales of his book How Would a Patriot Act, which was marketed only on the blogs.
This could lead one to believe that the issues that become part of the conversation on the internet have the potential to demand a much larger hearing.
This brings us to a post at Eschaton today that struck me as remarkably important.
Atrios, responding to Kevin Drum, noted:

But I think the “liberal netroots” does have a fairly clear consensus on a number of issues. I’m not going to claim every liberal blogger or blog reader agress with everything on this list – that’d be ridiculous – but nonetheless I’d say there’s a pretty obvious general consensus on the following:

…and included in that list was:

Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards “more decriminalization” of drugs, though the details complicated there too.

“Obvious general consensus.” Of course, such a weak statement has been obvious to us all along, but to see this listed in one of the top-read liberal blogs as being part of the obvious general consensus of the liberal netroots is pretty impressive.
This has to have been due, in no small part, to the constant efforts of all the drug policy reform organizations and individuals who have worked so hard to educate the internet community (and has made the internet almost exclusively the dominion of reform).
Now of course, there is also strong drug policy reform sentiment among the conservative blogosphere, although in recent years many of the former freedom-loving conservative factions (such as conservative libertarians) have all-too-willingly ceded power to the big-brother, big-government social conservatives. Additionally, the conservative blogosphere has not yet shown an ability to challenge the traditional party platform and structure. But I still have hope there as well.

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