Chatham House

Chatham House Magazine has a slate of drug war articles in the current issue; some good, some atrocious. The current issue is free to read online, so you can check them out now.

In the atrocious category are:

These are like badly written high school papers – confused and rambling all over the place. Really pathetic – like they know that legalization isn’t supposed to be the answer, but they don’t really have a rebuttal for it, so they just wander around.

Vanda doesn’t even seem to know the difference between outlawing and legalizing!

Why outlawing drugs is not an answer

Although frequently portrayed as an effective solution to the problem of organized crime, mere legalization of illicit economies, particularly of drugs, is no panacea.

In the category of moderately OK, is an interview with Mark Kleiman, which unfortunately, concludes with:

Surely reform has to be better than prohibition?

This drug policy reform narrative is based on two false claims. One, it’s possible to substitute regulation and taxation for prohibition and still prevent a mass upsurge in use. I’d like to see how you can do that. The other fallacy is that prohibition is an original sin: once you have committed prohibition you cannot have a sensible drug policy. But I’m convinced we could have policies where most illicit drugs remain illicit but cause much less damage. Against that claim both the prohibitionists and the drug policy reformers will protest.

Here’s the guy who says everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts, and yet he has no problem labeling “false claims” two areas merely because they disagree with his opinion.

He believes that regulated legalization will cause a massive upsurge in use, but cannot prove it, yet those who don’t believe are considered factually wrong. He believes that there is such a thing as sensible drug policy with prohibition, but except for certain populations, he can’t prove it, and yet those who believe we must dismantle prohibition are somehow making false claims.

There are a number of other articles in the issue with some good stuff. Check it out.

[Thanks, Evert]

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