The Corner

Czar Wars

Stanley, you make the point in your most recent post that “someone has to enforce the prohibitions society decides upon.” Technically speaking, of course, that’s quite right, but your implication seems to be that Bennett should not be singled out for special criticism merely because he was the drug czar. The analogy, I suppose, is that he was just another cop doing his duty. That lets Bennett off the hook far too easily. As a ‘czar’ (a job he appears to have accepted with some relish), Bennett was not just enforcing the rules, but he was setting them too. The drugs laws in this country are cruel, capricious and counterproductive, and Bennett played a part in making them that way. It’s entirely fair to ask him to defend the stance he took (and takes) with regard to those laws, and it’s also perfectly legitimate to ask him why he thinks that gambling should be permitted, but cannabis should not. Despite my own view that both ‘vices’ should be legal, it would be foolish to deny that there are plenty of reasonable (or reasonable-seeming) answers to that question.

It would be interesting to hear which one Bennett chose to give.

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