America’s notoriously “failed social experiment” to rid the country of alcohol â€” took center stage this week as PBS broadcast Ken Burns’ highly acclaimed series on the subject. And already, it has been seized on by drug legalization advocates, who say it proves that drug prohibition should be abandoned.
But a closer look at what resulted from alcohol prohibition and its relevance to today’s anti-drug effort reveals a far more nuanced picture than the legalization lobby might like to admit.
It’s the standard pro-prohibition claptrap that downplays the enormous harms of prohibition while tossing out silver linings, and tries to claim that drug prohibition is significantly different from alcohol prohibition so it can work.
I got a laugh out of one of the commenters who appears eager to both support Sabet and stop us from reacting…
substancescholar at 4:27 AM October 5, 2011
This article is well informed and grounded in the facts. Once again Kevin Sabet presents a balanced and thought-out argument. Of course, the legalizers won’t like it, and they will organize another smear campaign against it.
On the other hand, I got a real kick out of the tweet from Transform drugs this morning about Sabet’s article:
Prohibition’s real lessons for drug policy, LAtimes: anti-reform piece so bad it makes the case for legalisation dlvr.it/pQ1Nf
Remember we were having a contest to see where Sabet would end up after leaving the Drug Czar’s office? Well, according to this article, he “currently is a consultant and a fellow at the Center for Substance Abuse Solutions at the University of Pennsylvania.”
I don’t think anyone guessed that, but we shouldn’t be too quick to settle the contest. I’m betting that he’s still in flux. The Center for Substance Abuse Solutions doesn’t really exist at the University of Pennsylvania in any of their directories or search engines except as a project in the bio of A. Thomas McLellan (former Deputy Director of the ONDCP), and Sabet is not yet listed in the U. of Penn faculty/staff directory. It’s possible that Tom McLellan lent him a title to use for publishing OpEds.