Talking about what won’t work isn’t enough

Mark Kleiman and Jon Caulkins get it — that any of the solutions the U.S. comes up with regarding the business of poppies in Afghanistan are doomed to failure.


As usual, it’s a good analysis of what won’t work, and why, but fails to note the really big picture, and ignores the one option that lacks the failure characteristics of all the others.

The really big picture is that the combination of demand and the black market guarantees there will be massive illicit profits going to somebody. The option left out, as usual, is regulation (legalization) in some form.

Yes, I know that legalization is not a politically feasible option currently, but it’s leaving it out of the discussion that I find intellectually objectionable. It simply insures that the only option that has a chance of success will never get discussed.

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4 Responses to Talking about what won’t work isn’t enough

  1. daksya says:

    Not discussing presently infeasible policy is a vicious trap. Policy options don’t get traction by magic. Either they slowly achieve a viability by discussion or depend on some powerful trigger for a look-in. Until the latter happens, I doubt Kleiman & Co. will be interested.

  2. truthtechnician says:

    Yes, it’s important to have metrics of success. It’s more important to choose the right metrics. – Mark Kleimen

    Success? You mean ideals at the expense of Liberty. Guilt for the innocent. Faith instead of choice. Punishment in the name of piety. That is not success but failure. The drug war is our failure to defend freedom from the threat of oppression.

  3. ROE says:

    Not changing these destructive prohibition poilices is akin to what America went through with slavery. There were those that seen and knew this policy was wrong and wanted to change it.The thing was many people were following what was ‘Popular’ or were breed to ‘Believe’ was right. The same is happening today. We need our Abraham Lincoln in this day to stand up and end this maddness,end this ‘slavery’ of the people.

  4. Me! says:

    You know, one narrative, coming from the left, is that conservatives who commit adultery are also guilty of almost laughable hypocrisy. And so they are. That narrative is a part of the national consciousness; comedians are free to invoke it and I’m sure families of all ideologies do so as well.

    But what about politicians who have admitted to having enjoyed recreational drugs and who still favor a full-on assault on those who provide the substances? Can’t we laugh at and question Obama’s sincerity here?

    After all, he is spending an absurd amount of our money on what is more and more looking like a massive interdiction effort.

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