Sabet’s latest article is in the New York Times: Overdosing on Extremism
… extremists on both sides have taken over the conversation. Unless we change the tone of the debate to give drug-policy centrists a voice, Americaâ€™s drug problem will only get worse.
The problem is, Kevin is clueless when it comes to defining extremism. He seems to think that the extremes are “legalization” and “enforcement only”:
a few tough-on-crime conservatives and die-hard libertarians dominate news coverage and make it appear as if legalizing drugs and â€œenforcement onlyâ€ strategies were the only options
Here’s the problem with his argument. Legalization isn’t an extreme. It is, rather, an entire range of options — essentially all of the options available to society except for the single destructive and failed policy of prohibition (where drug distribution is put in the hands of criminals).
Sabet is looking for nuances in the policy of criminal drug distribution, and that’s just absurd.
Legalization is where you find the centrists. Take a look at LEAP, for example. Many LEAP members are opposed to drug use and strongly advocate extensive regulation of drugs. That’s certainly not the free-for-all libertarian model that Kevin Sabet seems to imagine to be the entire legalization world.
Legalization encompasses a wide range of options. Certainly not everyone here has the same view of how legalization should look — only that the extremist position of prohibition is dangerous and destructive.
Kevin should read Transform’s Blueprint for Regulation for a fine centrist view of drug policy.
And as far as Sabet’s bizarre implication that legalization isn’t worth discussing since the public doesn’t support it, in fact the public supports it surprisingly well considering the decades of lies they’ve been fed by “public servants” like Kevin Sabet.