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April 2009
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It’s High Time

Another big one dares to suggest the marijuana legalization question: Joe Klein in Time Magazine.

But, beneath the furious roil of the economic crisis, a national conversation has quietly begun about the irrationality of our drug laws. It is going on in state legislatures, like New York’s, where the draconian Rockefeller drug laws are up for review; in other states, from California to Massachusetts, various forms of marijuana decriminalization are being enacted. And it has reached the floor of Congress, where Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter have proposed a major prison-reform package, which would directly address drug-sentencing policy.

Now, the article is pretty snarky, and Klein gives way too much legitimacy to the potential of marijuana legalization leading to a “less virtuous society,” and leaves out entirely the value of taking profits away from the black market — still, having this conversation in Time Magazine? Better than an expensive ad.
There was one section (a little over the top) where he really exaggerated the third rail effect of marijuana legalization — it just isn’t true any more, and he shows no evidence for it. But it was entertaining nonetheless to hear his description of some talk radio hosts…

In fact, the default fate of any politician who publicly considers the legalization of marijuana is to be cast into the outer darkness. Such a person is assumed to be stoned all the time, unworthy of being taken seriously. Such a person would be lacerated by the assorted boozehounds and pill poppers of talk radio. The hypocrisy inherent in the American conversation about stimulants is staggering.

[Thanks, Tom!]

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