Robyn Blumner on Friedman and the Drug War

A refreshing OpEd in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Friedman made right call on legalization

… In a Newsweek article Friedman wrote in 1972, he took a step outside his realm of monetary policy and free marketeering and laid out in clear, unequivocal terms what kind of social disaster we were buying with Nixon’s drug war. Thirty years later, we know he couldn’t have been more right. […]
We have spent $1 trillion on the drug war since 1972 and we arrest 1.7 million people for nonviolent drug offenses every year. When you put a rapist in prison another one doesn’t get recruited to take his place, but that is precisely what happens in drug dealing. Take one guy off the streets and that becomes a job opportunity for someone else in the neighborhood. […]
Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” We must really be nuts. […]
Legalization of drugs is Friedman’s best economic and moral thesis that has been left untried; and one day, when courage returns to politics and we take this sensible step, experience will bear that out.

Update: Another great OpEd this weekend — this one at the Aspen Daily News by LEAP’s Tony Ryan — End The War On Drugs.

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