Some light reading

Stephen Duke of Yale has put together a very nice little paper: The Future of Marijuana in the United States

He covers a lot of ground in the discussion, with brief, well-researched, sections on each. It’s not anything ground-breaking to us, but a good addition to the literature.

Professor Kleiman is not impressed.

Alas, Duke’s performance is typical, rather than unusual, for the academic “anti-prohibitionists.” Reverse the sign of the bias and you have a typical drug war handout.

Because Duke failed to show sufficient reverence for Kleiman’s unprovable uncertainties, he is painted with the same brush as prohibitionist lies.

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6 Responses to Some light reading

  1. claygooding says:

    Klieman who?

    I know he got the job in WA because of political pressure,not being able to prove it is frustrating but the illogical employment doesn’t add up,,if the WA LCB scoped out all of his published works and hired him anyway then the LCB is filled with prohibitionist.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      I agree clay. If it happened in Arizona or Montana it could be explained away by the fact that those States are run by malignant narcissistic assholes but in the State of Washington it’s a “what’s wrong with this picture” event.

      But I confess, I have no idea of how Washington went about filling that position. If it was limited to one State employee making the decision it could just be personal bias. They do have some foaming at the mouth prohibitionists in Washington.

  2. Freeman says:

    Mark Kleiman (in comments):

    I marveled at its breathtaking dishonesty. Duke simply assumes that massive increases in use won’t cause any harm.

    … and I marveled at his breathtaking dishonesty. Kleiman simply assumes “massive increases in use” as a result of mj legalization, and argues that increases in harm due to legal availability won’t be more than offset by reductions in harm due to the nasty side-effects of prohibition (the argument Duke made in the article he ridicules as the “breathtakingly dishonest” rantings of someone who is “not grown-up enough to deal with those two simple facts”).

    Though (this time) he acknowledges that drug laws “create harms of their own”, he always downplays such harms if he even obliquely mentions them at all, while never missing an opportunity to castigate anyone who he feels downplays or ignores the harms of abuse, or argues that the harms of prohibition outweigh the harms of any increased abuse that may occur as a result of legalization.

    Mark doesn’t like the idea of legalization because he still thinks there’s a better “third way” that avoids relinquishment of the satisfaction of the urge to attempt to control everyone else’s behavior, an addiction shared by all prohibitionists (please, get help!). He’s been making that argument for over 15 years now. It’s getting pretty stale.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Well what do you know about that? I just posted the difference in youth use rates in Michigan between 1997 and 2011.

      One huge problem with the lame argument in the article is that the rate of Michigan youth choosing to consume cannabis has not been going up. Actually, that rate is in decline.

      ever used merrywanna?
      1997 = 48.1%
      2011 = 34.5%

      current merrywanna use (last 30 days):
      1997 = 28.2%
      2011 = 18.6%

      First use before age 13:
      1997 = 12.2%
      2011 = 6.8%

      used merrywanna at school:
      1997 = 8.9%
      2011 = 3.3%


  3. Darb says:

    Kleiman’s career is entirely reliant on federal funding and other assorted government grants and projects that it precludes him from straying too far from the government line on drug policy (See, public choice economics). Clearly, the Hayekian knowledge problem does not apply to Kleiman who is the all knowing, all-benevolent technocrat here to save you from your stupid ignorant selfs…and people like Professor Duke. Obviously Duke isn’t interested in being Washington State’s pot czar, because if he was, he certainly would tone it down as well. For someone who claims to oppose the drug war and favor marijuana legalization, Kleiman has a funny way of showing it. It is funny, Kleiman dismisses Duke for his failure to discuss Kleiman’s pet issues, be they real or not, yet Kleiman does the same thing by always pretending that the Portugal experiment either does not exist or has nothing to teach the US about liberalizing drug laws.

  4. Ed Dunkle says:

    Is he a full professor? Perhaps my annual donation to my alma mater can be conditioned on his dismissal.

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