"The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness," President Donald Trump asserted at a rally Friday, before launching into a laughter-generating anecdote about Chinese President Xi Jinping telling him that China doesn't have a drug problem because it uses the death penalty. The comment came on the heels of Trump expressing a similar sentiment at a White House meeting on opioids and overdoses. As Jacob Sullum pointed out last week, "Treating such deaths as homicides is not only unjust; it may have the perverse effect of making opioid-related fatalities more likely."
Another week, another exploration of the meaning and import of the president's words on Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and yours truly. Besides the drug stuff, the quartet gets into Trump's North Korea diplomatic initiative, his really existing trade war, his taste in economic advisers, and the difference on any/all of the above from his predecessors.
Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Relevant links from the show:
"Report: Imprisoning Drug Users Doesn't Stop Drug Use or Prevent Overdoses," by Scott Shackford
"Trump, Slayer of Pushers," by Jacob Sullum
"America's War on Pain Pills Is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony," by Jacob Sullum
"Trump Is More Like Recent Presidents Than Anyone Wants To Admit," by Nick Gillespie
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