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couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
July 2013



A false reading of legalization’s effects

Over at the “Reality-Based Community,” Keith Humphreys has a post: How Legalization Can Expand a Black Market

In it, he claims: “new research from the London School of Economics shows that legalizing prostitution increases, rather than decreases, human trafficking.”

This, he feels, gives him the authority to proclaim:

But in the meantime, wise heads in […]


The media and politicians who were proclaiming that an entire generation of “crack babies” would be nothing but ruined lives must have been… smoking crack.

Of course, we all know that the “crack baby” scare was a complete myth, but it was an extremly powerful one at the time. And the basic idea behind it […]

Book Salon today

Reminder: I’ll be hosting the FDL Book Salon with Keith Stroup, author of “It’s NORML to Smoke Pot: The 40 Year Fight for Marijuana Smokers’ Rights”

Today (Sunday) 2 pm Pacific, 4 Central, 5 Eastern

Should be fun. Bring your questions.

Link updated.

Obama, words, actions


You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago. […]

The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, […]


I thought I’d share with you a post I made for my Facebook friends (who generally aren’t as well-educated on drugs and drug policy as you guys)…

Hey, kids – let’s talk about heroin!

What with celebrities and white suburban kids dying from overdoses in the news, more of you may be interested in this, […]

Scary Medical Marijuana

Mark Kleiman has a post up: Why I always put “medical marijuana” in scare quotes. It’s a masterpiece of muddled confusion.

He accepts in the first sentence that “marijuana has medical value.” That should be enough right there to stop him from using scare quotes. After all, he is a public policy writer and has […]

Odds and Ends

I am famous. But then again, everyone is. At least that’s the notion behind the All People Are Famous podcast. Eli, the podcast’s host, recently interviewed me, and that episode is now available.

You can learn way more than you ever wanted to about me by listening to it (may not work on all […]

Drugs and Neurophenomenology

Interesting article in Salon: The Stoned Age: Were cavemen on drugs?

This thesis—that humanity’s earliest artists were not just reeling due to mind-altering activities, but deliberately sought those elevated states and gave greater meaning to those common visions—is the contention of a new paper by an international research team.

Their thesis intriguingly explores the “biologically […]

More on Law Enforcement

Radley Balko’s been getting some great press for his new book: Rise of the Warrior Cop – The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. There’s an excellent excerpt from the book available at Salon: “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

Very powerful stuff. I […]

A story that stinks to high heaven

Sorry, but I don’t buy it…

Drug smugglers set free for lack of money to prosecute

Each year the Border Patrol checkpoint seizes hundreds of thousands of pounds of marijuana.

“We have ’em put it in spare tires and gas tanks,” said a Border Patrol agent, whose voice and identity has been disguised because the […]