Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Addicted to the Drug War

Reihan Salam, guestblogging over at Etc, has authored a must-read post on the Drug War.

Salam hits on all the key points, including some I haven't thought of before. He refers to the 30% incarceration rate among young black men in America today, a number that borders on prima facia evidence of racist intent. He notes that we are rapidly approaching (if not past) the point where black mistrust of law enforcement is so extreme that the omniprescence of cops causes more crimes than it stops. He notes that even a drug-possession conviction can scar a potential job applicant for life, making it extraordinarily difficult for even the most sober and well-intentioned "ex-convicts" to gain employment. And he concludes with the following statement:
I'm sympathetic to those who argue that we need to ban marijuana as a public health strategy. Otherwise, every shiftless American youth will spark up while watching the Cartoon Network in the wee hours, sending U.S. productivity spiraling down to levels not seen since the Bronze Age. I get the picture. Unfortunately, banning marijuana, and squandering our human resources by incarcerating 30 percent of black men under 40, is a "luxury" we can't afford.

Read the whole thing.

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