The Drug War 40 years later

photo credit: abbyladybug

The LA Times offers a round-up of responses to the 40th anniversary of the drug war. They have been popping up everywhere for the last week and half but I haven’t linked to them because they all bemoan the incarceration rate and then argue for legalization. Some give lip service to treatment, but few spend time thinking about and describing what this kind of policy would look like.

I’m completely on board with the abhorrence of the incarceration rate. But is legalization the only other option?

Many of these commentaries point to a recent Global Position on Drug Policy report. Mark Kleiman responds here.

To my mind, Kleiman’s been one of the few open and creative thinkers about drug policy. It’s worth taking the time to peruse his blog or read this piece.

As I’ve said many times, there is no such thing as a problem-free drug policy, our choice is about which problems we’re willing to live with and how to mitigate the ones that remain.

2 thoughts on “The Drug War 40 years later

  1. I agree a lot of lip service to legalization and the incarceration rate, while not many (none?) are talking about reallocation those billions to treatment. There are people dying to get into a good residential treatment.

    1. It’s one thing to advocate legalizing weed. What do we do about heroin, coke and diversion of prescription meds? Do we completely legalize them or do something more like prop 36 in California and eliminate prison sentences? It’s my understanding that prop 36 is underfunded and has not been without problems. How could this be improved upon? What do we do about drug markets and their impact on communities?

      The list of questions could go on forever. It’s hard to take these people seriously when they make no serious attempt to answer any of them.

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