Folks – I will read everyone’s email as soon as I can. But on this subject especially I don’t think I will be responding to emails personally or in the Corner. I know feelings run high on all sides, but with all due respect I’ve heard all of these arguments before, pro and con (at least judging from the 40 or so emails I’ve gotten in the last hour) and I simply cannot afford right now to engage in this debate (again).
Just one clarification, I did not say that in the long run there will be more drug addicts. I think perhaps the most compelling arguments from the pro-legalization crowd are long-term ones. But in the short run — a few years to a decade or two — there would be a lot more drug addicts as the culture worked out the consequences. I am sympathetic to the argument that in the long run society would build up sinew to deal with the issue. But even then, assuming no new technology, we would be making peace with the fact that an irreducible number of people would be permanently enslaved to drugs. Yes, I know an irreducible number of people are enslaved to alcohol (we call them “Kennedys”). But that’s an argument which will take us to another place and I’m only mentioning this to clarify my position.