Drug Policy

Questions for Drug Warriors

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Cato's Jerry Taylor asks supporters of the drug war:

Exactly what would it take to convince you that the drug war was causing more harm than good? Is there any bit of data, any hypothetical fact, or anything at all that would cause you to give up the policy ghost? Because if there is not, then we are in the realm of religious belief…

In my experience, steadfast drug warriors fall into one of three categories: Law and order types who see the drug war as culture war (think the silent majority versus the liberal hippies); religious types who think the prohibition of intoxicants is a moral imperative; and people who confuse the consequences of prohibition with the effects of illicit drugs themselves. The third group might be susceptible to persuasion. Not so much with the other two.

Still, as Taylor suggests, it would be fun to ask the Bennets, Walterses, and Tandys of the world if there's any evidence they could see that would convince them it's time to end this continuing tragedy.  Given that Tandy and Bennet still defend the merits (and ignore the costs) of alcohol prohibition, I suspect not.