Ten Miles Square

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January 02, 2014 9:37 AM Ambushed by a Drug Policy Fanatic

By Mark Kleiman

Anyone who has followed the drug threads on RBC will have noticed the presence of opinionated, stubborn, ignorant, irrational, and angry advocates of drug legalization. That might create a false impression. In fact, there exists a parallel group of fanatics in the drug-war camp, though that viewpoint has been absent from the discourse here.

I was forcefully reminded of that when KPCC, the local public radio outlet, asked me to discuss cannabis policy on the Air Talk show. The interview itself went reasonably well; I didn’t say anything that will surprise RBC readers, but managed to raise most of the issues I wanted to raise. Then we were treated to some Olympic-level sophistry from the head of a California anti-legalization group, who has somehow convinced himself that we should continue to prohibit cannabis but shouldn’t raise alcohol taxes. As you listen to him recite his list of talking points, the mournful sound you hear in the background is rational debate dying a slow, painful death.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.

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