Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Addicted to the drug war

Two of the Three Instapunditeers link to persuasive and commonsensical opinion pieces today.

John Tierney discusses the excesses of the war on meth. He reminds us that when you look at the statistics, rather than Newsweek's hysterical reporting, meth is not that bad of a drug; meanwhile, the very real dangers associated with amateur meth labs are, of course, entirely a result of the drug war itself. Tierney points out that this pattern is similar to what happened with alcohol during Prohibition. Eventually we realized that even for a more harmful drug, like alcohol, attempts to outlaw it only made things worse.

Not that our alcohol policies are particularly rational, however, as Radley Balko reminds us. His op-ed focuses on the ridiculous "zero-tolerance" crackdowns on parents who have supervised parties for their teenage kids where they serve alcohol but take away everyone's car keys. Such parents are almost certainly lowering the levels of drunk driving, but we are sending them to prison.

When there's fruit hanging this low for op-eds to pluck, you know things aren't going well.


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