Drug Policy

Reason Writers Around Town: Radley Balko Debates David Freddoso on the Drug War for Bloggingheads.tv


As part of the website Culture11's symposium on the drug war, Radley Balko and National Review's David Freddoso debated drug legalization at Bloggingheads.tv. Balko's article is here. Freddoso's is here.

Click here to watch the video.

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  1. Can I just say that of the two of them, Freddoso looks more like the guy that just took a lungful.

  2. Wow. Not only did prohibition not cause crime, crime increase in the 20s was really caused by more guns. This from a National Review conservative. And that’s just in the first few minutes.

  3. Radley clearly did a better job, but then again this David character doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb. Nor does he seem overly knowledgeable about the Drug War.

    I feel like David’s favorite thing to do is to wear tall black dress socks with tennis shoes and shorts, with his (most likely) extremely pale legs.

    I also think he read ‘The Shack’ and found it to be “interesting.”

  4. Who’s this Freddoso character? Some up-and-coming big-government right winger?


  5. fraddoso is a nazi who hates obama. he wrote a book of lies about obama in hope of turning the masses against hope. he should be in jail.

  6. the bigger news mis someone voted against hillary for secretary of state.

  7. Shouldn’t that headline be: “Radley Balko Decimates David Freddoso on the Drug War”?

    I mean talk about a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

  8. LOL, now that was pretty funny dude!


  9. Snap! Radley is Freddoso’s mom, and he just took him to school in the car of pain.

  10. I know it was you, Freddoso. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!

  11. When it comes to hard drugs (heroin, crack, meth, and the like), there are no easy answers. Partisans on both sides will pretend to acknowledge this – “of course there are no easy answers! We never said there were!” – but in their rhetoric, one gets the idea that they only care about one side of the ledge, and that they ignore the other side.

    The legalizers often seem to think that the laws of supply and demand don’t apply to hard drugs. But if you lower the cost of hard drugs by legalizing them (I think it’s called lowering the transaction costs) by making them available legally without the need to risk prison or rely on professional criminals to supply your needs, then of course more people will use hard drugs. Not all users are addicts, but if the number of users go up , the numbers of addicts will go up as well. And since we live in a welfare state, many addicts (or their families) will want the taxpayers to pay for their rehab.

    The prohibitionists seem to turn a blind eye to the no-knock searches, police homicides, etc. which result from their hard-core policies. “Can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs,” seems to be their Leninist motto.

    The Constitution Party seems to have the moderate position in this controversy, supporting the right of the states to deal with drugs, suppporting restrictions on drug imports, while standing foursquare in favor of the Fourth Amendment and the presumption of innocence. H&R posters will see this is ‘ironic,’ because they see the Constitution Party as the guys who want to revive the Salem Witch Trials.

    On some issues, however, there *are* simple answers. The use of dope by sick people is one of these issues. Only a “National Review Conservative” would see a dilemma here. “Hmmm . . . on the one hand, current policies involve persecuting patients who are in chronic pain. On the other hand, healthy stoners could get fake prescriptions so that they could get high legally. Let’s see, let’s see . . . persecuting pain patients versus letting some hippies get high . . . the equities are so closely balanced I don’t know what to do!”

  12. When it comes to hard drugs (heroin, crack, meth, and the like), there are no easy answers.

    There are no “hard” drugs. There are people who cannot control their use of addictive substances. Most of these people get into drugs/alcohol/nicotine anyway. There are also underlying factors such as schizophrenia/bipolar disorder/depression/etc.

    Use of terms like “hard drugs” is merely a dodge.

  13. Episiarch,

    The appropriate response is as follows: “There are no hard drugs, just hard living.”

  14. That’s livin, man. L I V I N.

  15. “because they see the Constitution Party as the guys who want to revive the Salem Witch Trials.”

    well, maybe if they didn’t want to burn gay witches they might not be seen as such.


    also, there are costs to “hard drug use” that go beyond price and illegality, like the ability to be integrated into one’s lifestyle, etc. more people would try heroin (i’m fairly sure we can all agree upon that) if it were legal, but i don’t think you’d see a significantly higher amount of needle addicts, for example. certain things are niche market items by their very nature.

  16. and of course other types of heroin preparations would probably become popular again, a la the late 19th century.

  17. Speaking of hard drugs, I just heard about the new Sherlock Holmes movie (called, I think, Sherlock Holmes), starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. That could be good, though I’m enough of a Holmes fan that I could be easily alienated if they take too many liberties. I like both actors, anyway.

  18. While it’s probably generally true that more people would try drugs if they were legalized, the effects probably wouldn’t be overwhelming. Demand for drugs is inelastic, demonstrated by the fact that even when drugs like heroin and crack command high prices, people keep buying them. The flip side of that fact is that people probably wouldn’t buy all that many more drugs just because they were cheaper. Price just doesn’t have that much of an effect on drug sales.

  19. Sorry, but until John Waters debates (or even better, replaces) John Walters – there is no debate.

    I’m really thinking the best line for legalization advocates is “legalize it, tax it, regulate it”. With national debt that needs to be measured in Astronomical Units, the tax receipts argument might just tip the balance.

  20. My, My. Radley really got his ass–which presumably looks a lot like his head–kicked, didn’t he?

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