Mark A.R. Kleiman has an excellent OpEd in The American Interest: Triage in the Drug War
In particular, Kleiman’s analysis of the falsehoods and fallacies of the drug war really hits the mark.
Certainly, he has a more optimistic view of the potential uses of prohibition in certain circumstances than I, but in an article discussing short-term triage, that’s OK – it’s not all going to come down at once anyway. As far as his solutions, the HOPE program appears to be a good one and his “big stick” approach to reducing the violence of the most violent drug trafficking organizations might work (although I fear that without an accompanying “carrot” it’s likely to get bogged down).
As some of you know, Mark and I have had some blistering differences over the years regarding drug policy, but I’ve always felt that when it comes to analyzing the problems with prohibition, he really does understand.
Update: It seems the consensus is that the readers are much less willing to give Kleiman any props for what he wrote in this OpEd.
Of course Mark Kleiman is still a prohibitionist apologist and he has a drug policy blind spot the size of Texas when it comes to his fear of cocaine. That hasn’t changed, nor do I expect it to change in the near future. His opinions, however, are widely respected in certain circles and it is nice to see him publicly dismantling core drug warrior arguments, particularly without the usual obligatory unsupported plague-on-both-your-houses/ but-the-legalizers-are-just-as-bad statement.