The Corner

On Earth Day: Free All Plants

Including marijuana. Here is a very interesting 1996 National Review symposium about the legalization of marijuana and the war on drugs, which is lost. As an introduction, the editors wrote:

Things being as they are, and people as they are, there is no way to prevent somebody, somewhere, from concluding that NATIONAL REVIEW favors drugs. We don’t; we deplore their use; we urge the stiffest feasible sentences against anyone convicted of selling a drug to a minor. But that said, it is our judgment that the war on drugs has failed, that it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states. We all agree on movement toward legalization, even though we may differ on just how far.

WFB offered his own contribution to the symposium, in which he noted:

But we do know this, and I approach the nexus of my inquiry, which is that more people die every year as a result of the war against drugs than die from what we call, generically, overdosing. These fatalities include, perhaps most prominently, drug merchants who compete for commercial territory, but include also people who are robbed and killed by those desperate for money to buy the drug to which they have become addicted.

Steven Duke concluded:

The only benefit to America in maintaining prohibition is the psychic comfort we derive from having a permanent scapegoat. But why did we have to pick an enemy the warring against which is so self-destructive? We would be better off blaming our ills on celestial invaders flying about in saucers.

Fourteen years later, things haven’t changed much. Reason TV on the issue is here:


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