Open Thread

Those who don’t learn from history…

bullet image Marijuana legalization bill may threaten fabulous Prohibition II profits by Paul Carpenter

The next time they designed such a system, the gangsters and their allies were more clever. With Prohibition II, they skillfully made Americans believe the war on drugs was in the public’s interest.

The consequences of Prohibition II, which targets drugs other than alcohol, have been exactly the same as those of Prohibition I, including bloodshed and the widespread corruption of public officials. The main difference is that the cabal has been far more effective in keeping it going.

bullet image The Drug Laws That Changed How We Punish by Brian Mann

Persico, the aide who helped push through Rockefeller’s drug laws, says new scrutiny for the policy is overdue.

“I concluded very early that this was a failure. It’s filling up the prisons, first-time offenders,” Persico says. “This was obviously unjust — and not just unjust, it was unwise; it was ineffective.”

This debate is far from over. Supporters of mandatory minimums say the policy has helped reduce crime in some cities, including New York, and they point to modest declines in the use of some drugs, particularly cocaine. Persico says Rockefeller himself never expressed any second thoughts or reservations about the policy that carries his name.

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