This “it doesn’t work, but don’t change it” incongruity is not just a quirk of the U.S. public. It is a manifestation of how the prohibition on drugs has led to a prohibition on rational thought. “Most of my colleagues know that the war on drugs is bankrupt,” a U.S. senator told me, “but for many of us, supporting any form of decriminalization of drugs has long been politically suicidal.”
The addiction to a failed policy has long been fueled by the self-interest of a relatively small prohibitionist community—and enabled by the distraction of the American public. But as the costs of the drug war spread from remote countries and U.S. inner cities to the rest of society, spending more to cure and prevent than to eradicate and incarcerate will become a much more obvious idea. Smarter thinking on drugs? That should be the real no-brainer.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Listen to This Man!
Moisés Naím, who was a member on the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, devotes his column in the latest edition of Foreign Policy to a call for legalization. There's nothing too groundbreaking, just the same basic, irrefutably logical argument that more and more people have been making lately. Here's a taste: