I’ve been busy today and haven’t had a chance to watch/listen to this, but I thought you might want to know that there’s a video featuring Mark Kleiman debating “Chasing the Scream’s” Johann Hari.

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29 Responses to Bloggingheads

  1. Chasing the scream should be the name of this video. That is how I felt after listening to an hour and a half of Mark Kleiman.

    A donut is how I describe Mark’s philosophies. Lots of substance on the outside but something is missing in the center. He is a numbers man, an armchair philosopher. It all makes sense from his vantage.

    There’s a human element missing in this mans repertoire. There is a disconnect. I think he is lost in rat park trying to figure. He does not have the optimism necessary to relate it to the human condition in any meaningful way. He still likes partial prohibition. I like unicorns.

    Johann Hari made a lot of sense. I hope Mark learned something.

    • Freeman says:

      I hope Mark learned something.

      Wow TC, that’s got to be the most absurdly optimistic statement I’ve seen in quite some time! ;>)

      I mean, everyone knows that Mark A(lways) R(ight) (K)lieman does the teaching, not the learning. How can you teach a man who thinks he already knows everything about the subject and everyone else is wrong?

  2. darkcycle says:

    As much as I like Hari, AN HOUR and a HALF of Mark Klieman? Are you MAD?
    I’ll wait for the synopsis.

    • Pete has a small section link above. Enough to give you an idea.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Synopsis: The Professor is an idiot.

      Well what do you know, The Professor has demanded a second opinion. Here we go:

      Synopsis: The Professor is an imbecile.

      Now he’s on the phone telling Pete to pull this post despite his claim that people are entitled to their opinions. What a narcissistic pest. But hey, finding out that I disturbed The Professor is very gratifying and makes me feel the same way that Navin R. Johnson must have felt when he found his name listed in the white pages. “I am somebody now!”

    • primus says:

      30 seconds or so was all I could stomach. The third lie was enough to make me turn it off. When Hari said to him; “That’s not true” and he reacted physically, I knew it was over.

    • Freeman says:

      kLieman, Hari, and Carl Hart in a three-way death-cage match. I’d watch that for an hour and a half at least. Assuming kLieman doesn’t last that long (a safe assumption, IMHO), I’d watch it over and over for at least an hour and a half!

  3. Servetus says:

    Kafka, where are you? We need an explanation of Mark Kleiman.

  4. Think I'll Pass says:

    Kindly google “Kleiman is a prohibitionist” and you’ll see articles going back decades.

    “Third, even on those rare occasions where Kleiman does not endorse prohibitionist policy, his analysis is infused with a prohibitionist morality. In his often superb chapter on marijuana, his evidence forces him to consider alternatives. Yet he is reluctant at every turn. He brings himself to admit that the costs of the current prohibition (e.g. each year 350 000 arrests and up to 10 billion dollars in enforcement costs and lost revenue) are probably too great for the ‘benefits’ received. But he still conceives of the alleged deterrent value of prohibition as a benefit, and again implies that he believes marijuana use is in itself somehow ‘bad’.”
    —Prohibitionism in Drug Policy Discourse by Craig Reinarman, University of California, Santa Cruz,

    “He also bases his support for prohibition on the fact that the criminal justice system does not do a good enough job of preventing drug-related crime. Most informed observers, however, trace many of the problems in our criminal justice system to the burden and corruption placed on it by narcotics prohibition. Finally, I would note that even Mr. Kleiman realizes that only a small percentage of the population develops abuse problems with any specific drug and that we do not know what makes a given person have an abuse problem with a given drug. Why then does he recommend a nationwide policy that is oppressive, impersonal, and ineffective? ”
    —Mark Thornton, Auburn University.
    A Review of Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results, 1992.

    “There’s one problem with legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis at the state level: It can’t be done. The federal Controlled Substances Act makes it a felony to grow or sell cannabis. California can repeal its own marijuana laws, leaving enforcement to the feds. But it can’t legalize a federal felony. Therefore, any grower or seller paying California taxes on marijuana sales or filing pot-related California regulatory paperwork would be confessing, in writing, to multiple federal crimes. And that won’t happen.”
    —Mark Kleiman, LA Times, 2010.

    “Kleiman is a tee-totaler sado-moralist who believes intoxication is a disease.” —Allan Erickson, The Media Awareness Project

    “D.A.R.E. is a wonderful tool for police-community relations, particularly, in poor neighborhoods. Getting poor kids to meet a police officer, and getting a police officer to meet poor kids, on a civil, friendly basis, is a wonderful thing to do. Police officers love it, and police departments love it, and neighborhoods love it, and kids love it and parents love it and everybody loves it.” —Mark Kleiman 1997

    “I’ve been going around the country trying to convince people that knowing the unsatisfactory results of marijuana prohibition doesn’t prove that any specific implementation of legal marijuana will turn out to be an improvement.” —Mark Kleiman, 2013

    “I’ve been going around the country trying to convince people that knowing the unsatisfactory results of alcohol prohibition doesn’t prove that any specific implementation of legal alcohol will turn out to be an improvement.” —Mark Kleiman’s grandfather, 1933

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Q) Tell me Mr. Prohibitionist, how many prohibitionists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

      A) None. We don’t have enough scientific studies to know whether or not we should screw in the light bulb, or how we would go about doing it, or even know if it’s possible to screw one in! No, we can’t risk giving the scientists any light bulbs that are more than 25 watts to use for scientific studies. They might get into the wrong hands!

      Hey, isn’t the naming and definition of sadomoralism the progeny of this very blog? The Urban Dictionary gives Pete the credit:

      • primus says:

        The advantage of changing the light bulb is one consideration, the other is the possible negative side effects of this change. Yes, the closet will be lit by the changed bulb, but it will also create harsh shadows, cost an unknown and unknowable amount of money for electricity plus a reserve for future light bulb changes, plus other potential negatives which we cannot anticipate at this time. No studies have been performed that prove the benefit of light in the closet out weighs these big, scary negative outcomes. These outcomes could be huge. They could be horrible, and once we take this drastic step, there is no turning back. We have no way of knowing, so better to not change the light bulb. Since the people, through the ballot box have decided to change the light bulb, it is better to put in a 3 watt bulb first to see how it goes. Later we can step up in tiny, gradual increments. Under no circumstances is anyone permitted to put in a higher wattage bulb, and the state must tax this light bulb to the nth degree to ensure that the costs are as high as possible, thus the negative outcomes are greater and the whole exercise has a much greater chance of failure.

  5. darkcycle says:

    Okay, suffered throught the first few minutes of the portion Pete links.
    What an idiot.
    He apparently believes prohibition of heroin works. Using the case of veterans he asserts that “Those who returned to an area where there was no available heroin stopped using, those who returned to areas where there was active dealing did not.”
    That is unmitigated crap. First, people are MOBILE, and as a just discharged soldier, you are basically free to go where the mood (or the drugs, or the lifestyle) takes you. You were previously housed and located by the Government, you are now free and that was what many of them did, they showed up with duffel bags and fatigues in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles etc, and many wandered from there.
    There is a second problem with this ridiculous assertion. That is the well known fact that geographic cures are inneffective for addiction virtually 100% of the time.
    If I had a buck for every addict I have worked with who thought that moving away would end thier problems I would be a wealthy man. Addicts move, but they don’t change their behavior. If H is unavailable where they are, the likely outcome for a truely degenerate addict is they will either substitute thier drug of choice with another, or PICK UP AND MOVE TO WHERE IT IS AVAILABLE.
    Seriously, half the alcoholics in AA in Seattle right now came from somewhere else, and got here in the midst of a blackout. Ask those people how moving away from addiction works, Marky.

  6. NorCalNative says:

    Hari exposed Kleiman for the lying sack of shit he is.

  7. free radical says:

    I’m a glutton for punishment.
    I watched the whole thing.
    K-dog is infuriating. About what I expected.
    He pushes so hard against simply allowing people to have their cannabis, but always fails to define the actual danger or threat to society from doing that. His claim “it’s not a benign drug,” comes out of the blue, totally unreferenced by any evidence of actual damage. He references highly inflated rates of “cannabis addiction,” never counting the possibility that some people might be getting tremendous benefits, even life-saving healing from cannabis, which they do not wish to give up.
    It was fun to see him squirm and fidget when Hari calls out the hundreds of thousands of murders directly caused by the drug war. Whatever he does, Kliar will always know that he is a member of the drug cartels and does their best work for them. He knows he is complicit in every murder caused by the drug war.
    A little difficult to see someone treating this conman with over-the-top British politeness and deference. But I suppose it’s worth it for Hari to have his book plugged. At the end, though, Hari’s patience flags, his eyelids lower to half-mast. K packs a lot of willful ignorance into each second he talks, which makes it a challenge to address each lie and misstatement.

  8. allan says:

    I sincerely hope you all washed your hands and rinsed your eyes after viewing!

  9. darkcycle says:

    Well, Wa. State Bill 5052 has passed. Patients will again become criminals under Washington’s new law.

  10. Freeman says:

    Ummmmmm damn. Ummmmmm I tried to watch it, ummmmmm but couldn’t make it past 4 minutes of kLieman beginning EVERY sentence with ummmmmm. Ummmmmm does he do that for the whole 90 minutes? Ummmmmm I feel even sorrier for any student who had to sit through his classes than I did before. Ummmmmm of course, I shouldn’t complain — there’s far more intellectual honesty in those ummmmmms than anything else he has to say.

    I was wondering why this thing was recorded 5 days ago and published 3 days ago, yet I’m reading about it here first, and not a peep over at kLieman’s House of Self-Promoting Propaganda. But if I were the guy on the left in that video, I sure wouldn’t want to draw any attention to it.

  11. Duncan20903 says:


    Quick show of hands, who here would enjoy perpetrating some malicious mischief? Not the criminal kind but something more or less the equivalent of mailing a box of freshly collected dog turds to send a message to that special someone? Wow, that’s a lot of hands. If I wanted to count I’d go back to school! It might be easier to have the people who aren’t interested to raise their hands next time.

    I feel compelled to put this one in the “more fun than a barrel of prohibitionists” category:

    Internet naming group asks FTC to investigate .sucks controversy

    So let’s come up with some ideas because it isn’t often that opportunities like this plum come along. Here’s a couple of my ideas:

    Your turn!
    A word to the wise: Make sure to adequately weight the barrel before you toss it in a local body of deep water. OK, OK of course I’m kidding. If we did that it would pollute the ground water for miles and miles and miles and decades and decades and decades! What kind of message would that send to the “childrens”? Still, it’s a very pleasant pipe dream.
    Hey, who the heck knew that Harry J. Anslinger had a sense of humor?

    MR. MCCORMACK: There are state laws in reference to other drugs?

    MR. ANSLINGER: The uniform state act covers opium and its derivatives, coca leaf and its derivatives, but there is a twilight zone there that the peddler breaks right through if the state has not taken action.

    MR. MCCORMACK: This is a tax measure and we might as well get the revenue out of it that enables the Federal government to cooperate with the states in connection with the state activities.

    MR. ANSLINGER: And you get a certain uniformity. You also get to help the local police, and they always want it. You also get to help the state police, and the always ask for this help. Whenever they find marihuana the first place on which they call for help is the Federal narcotic office, so that they can take a man along who is a specialist on narcotic matters.

    The have 35 states under the uniform act, and we have Federal legislation dealing with opium and coca leaves.

    With this legislation we will make a drive on this traffic, and bend every effort to stamp it out, and it will not cost very much.

    I say that advisedly because we have men throughout the country at the present time who are dealing with the narcotic problem. But the use of marihuana is increasing.

    I want to show you one more thing and that is in reference to the international side of this problem. Canada made some seizures over here last year and they pointed the finger of scorn at us and said, “Why do you not do something about this?” We had to admit that we did not have any legislation.

    There is some evidence that this drug is being smuggled to China today. We have always pointed the finger of scorn at China, and now marihuana is being smuggled out to China, by sailors.

    We are far ahead of any government when it comes to the 1912 Hague Convention, and the 1931 convention, but we are behind on the 1925 convention. We are not signatories to it, but we cooperate with them.

    We were in a curious position only a few months ago when an exporter sent a lot of cannabis to a British firm. It was a legitimate shipment, but the British law demanded and export certificate, and we had to tell the British government that we did not have a law to compel that exporter to stop the shipment of cannabis. He will probably do so, as a matter of cooperation. But we had to warn him to stop violating British law, and that goes for practically every government on the face of the earth, except the United States. Over 50 nations have national legislation on this problem, and it is very humiliating to have to say to these people when they trace the matter right to our shore, to tell them that we have no legislation to deal with that problem.

  12. jean valjean says:

    Obama promises the summit of the Americas that the US will “end meddling” in the politics of Latin America. No mention though of ending that most commonly used excuse for political meddling and control of its neighbors, the war on drugs. What a surprise….

  13. skeptic420 says:

    Kleiman is the bozo who consulted with the Washington State Liquor Control Board to determine how to set up their system. Look how well that’s gone — super over-regulated and over-taxed, considered the most regressive system of “legalization” of all the states so far. I have heard Kleiman previously state that he thinks marijuana should be rationed out to people, and that individuals should not be allowed to have more than a couple of tokes’ worth on an irregular basis.

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