Say "No" to Prohibition

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

John Stossel has written a column that amply demonstrates the futility of the so-called War on Drugs. I read the column more out of curiosity than anything else. Regulars here know that I oppose this modern version of Prohibition on moral (and therefore practical) grounds: Would Stossel attack this folly on moral grounds? Would he introduce something I hadn't heard of or thought about before? Even if he hadn't, his piece would offer value by presenting the right facts well, and all in one place.

Stossel did all three. Although he does not call the "war" "immoral" or "wrong", Stossel does at least allude the issue of morality, by acknowledging the premise that we ought to be able to control what we put into our own bodies. (This is not stated as strongly as I would like, but it's a far cry from relativism.)

More interestingly, Stossel brings up an adverse cultural consequence I hadn't realized and don't recall being raised in the media:

John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, indicts the drug war for "destroying black America." McWhorter, by the way, is black.

McWhorter sees prohibition as the saboteur of black families. "Enduring prison time is seen as a badge of strength. It's regarded (with some justification) as an unjust punishment for selling people something they want. The ex-con is a hero rather than someone who went the wrong way."
I expected to find a good piece, but not one to take the trouble to blog. It was good to learn otherwise. With arguments like this and a recent piece by Andrew Bernstein, repealing Prohibition should gain some traction.

-- CAV

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