Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

1. It has caused public respect for the law to plummet.
2. Even honest
police officers face hostility from the public because of a frivolous and unfair policy.
3. Because the profits are so high, many poor people find selling it an an attractive alternative to honest, legal work.
4. Immigrants and blacks face greater scrutiny and higher sentences than whites.

Sound the Drug War? It's actually about Prohibition from
John McWhorter's article in today's NY Sun:

We look back at Prohibition chuckling that people had to endure what they did for the prissy, puerile notion that no one should be able to have a drink. Yes, alcohol can be addictive. In excess, it harms health. It often ruins lives. Nevertheless, today, we assume that the response to those things hardly is to call for a dry America.

But when it comes to the war on drugs, most of America almost is robotically accepting of the idea that even talking about ending it is "politically unfeasible."

In fact, this passive position on the war on drugs represents a catastrophic failure of imagination, compassion, and plain common sense on the part of this great nation. It will look as grievously ridiculous in the history books as Prohibition does now.

Think of Nicholas Cage's alcoholic character in "Leaving Las Vegas" and Jamie Foxx's heroin-addicted role as Ray Charles in "Ray." Why, precisely, does the latter justify a policy that tears at the fabric of American society just as Prohibition did, and shows no more signs of success — even after having existed for decades longer? What might we learn from other countries' drug policies? Might we stress rehabilitation over interdiction?

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