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August 22, 2007

Reason for Hope? (Political)

Briton Misha Glenny’s accurate analysis of the increasingly dire consequences of America’s drug war for both itself and the entire world contained nothing that would have been new to anyone familiar with drug policy history. What made it both interesting and potentially important were its (almost) unequivocal conclusions that prohibition is “stupid” and the American Goverment is the major remaining obstacle to a more rational global drug policy, one preferably not based on prohibition.

What makes it an occasion for hope is that it was featured in the Washington Post. The best way to tell if has had any political impact will be to see if any of the “major” presidential contenders are moved to even mention drug policy in their stump speeches, or if serious questions about the drug war get past their political handlers. Given past performances, I’d say they probably won’t; but the hour is late and hope, as always, springs eternal.

Denny’s piece also points out that the surge in global crime really beagn when a war on drugs was initiated by Richard Nixon almost forty years ago and has only increased since. As I've often noted, the reasons why a parallel surge in America's illegal marijuana market, which had been unquestionably tiny when the Sixties began and had quickly grown to a point where pot was available in nearly every high school in America only fifteen fifteen years later, have never been explored by either side of the domestic "debate" over marijuana. The reasons for the federal reticence have not been given; nor would one expect them to be, since that discussion would only emphasize the grotesque failure of their policy.

The reason for reform's studious disinterest in whatever growth took place in the pot market during its "high school" phase is far more obscure. In any event, they may be missing an opportunity to discredit the drug war for unexpected reasons, which they,  like the feds, remain unaware of and disinclined to discuss...

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at August 22, 2007 04:42 AM