On Tuesday, I wrote a post: Where Kleiman gets annoyed once again that people are having a discussion about Mark Kleiman’s post: Another Drug Legalization Pitch, reacting to the Esquire piece: A Radical Solution to End the Drug War: Legalize Everything.
I expected some fireworks and was not disappointed. Mark himself stopped by and joined us in comments (you’re always welcome, Mark â€” I’d love it if you’d try comments again at your site). And there’s still a good discussion going in our comments section worth checking out.
Kleiman updated his post with a rebuttal to mine.
My objection is to the claim that there’s a hideous monster out there called “prohibition,” and that the main drug policy task is to slay that monster with the magic sword of “taxation and regulation.” That claim is just as stupid as the drug-warrior claim that there’s a hideous monster out there called “drugs” and that the main drug-policy task is to slay that monster with the magic sword of a “a drug-free society.”
Over at Horsesass.org, Lee does a very fine job of addressing that attempted bit of misdirection…
First of all, both â€œprohibitionâ€ and â€œdrug abuseâ€ are â€œhideous monstersâ€. Prohibition is such because it takes a commodity that has significant demand from both responsible adults and people with addictions and hands it to criminals who have significant income with which to fight over their share of the marketplace. Drug abuse is a â€œhideous monsterâ€ because human beings are flawed creatures who often make mistakes and end up without the control to help themselves overcome an addiction. Both are things that we need to deal with as problems in our society, but the important difference is that one of the two is a basic human tendency that we canâ€™t stop while the other is a creation of government that we most certainly can stop.
Second, one only needs to look at the example of alcohol prohibition to see where the â€œmagic sword of taxation and regulationâ€ has slayed the monster of prohibition.
Spot on. And the rest of Lee’s post is definitely worth reading as well.