Word of the Day: Fungible

1. Something that is exchangeable or substitutable.

In an interesting article in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune about the fear-mongering over the retroactivity regarding the slight reduction in crack cocaine sentencing, this caught my attention:

[Federal judge Ruben] Castillo, who helped build large-scale drug prosecutions in the Chicago U.S. attorney’s office in the 1980s, says the commission’s vote is recognition that the current strategy in the war on drugs is flawed. Twenty years ago, Castillo said, “we were going after the right defendants.” Now, he complains that his docket overflows with low-level street dealers.
“These people are very fungible,” he said. “They’re replaced the very next day by someone else with no criminal background. … We’re not making a dent.”

Fungibility – another reason the drug war doesn’t work.

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