It’s heartening to see how passionately people are reacting to the video of the dogs getting shot in the drug raid (I have not brought myself to watch it yet). This has presented an occasion for many bloggers to voice their opinions on the War on Drugs in general, and maybe it’s a selection problem, but from what I’m reading in blogosphere, there seems to be pretty much unanimous support for ending the War on Drugs, or at least the War on the Drug that is marijuana.
I don’t think it’s just the corner of the blogosphere that I read either. Public intellectuals overall appear to be largely in favor of legalizing pot. Here’s Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review a few years ago:
Marijuana is not harmless, and its use should be discouraged, but in the same way, say, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day should be discouraged. The criminal-justice system should stay out of it. Twelve states have decriminalized marijuana to varying degrees, fining instead of arresting people for possessing small amounts. They recognize that — as the authors of a new study for the conservative American Enterprise Institute argue — “the case for imposing criminal sanctions for possession of small amounts of marijuana is weak.”
And here is none other than Buckley himself:
We’re not going to find someone running for president who advocates reform of [marijuana] laws. What is required is a genuine republican groundswell. It is happening, but ever so gradually. Two of every five Americans, according to a 2003 Zogby poll cited by Dr. Nadelmann, believe “the government should treat marijuana more or less the same way it treats alcohol: It should regulate it, control it, tax it, and make it illegal only for children.”
Such reforms would hugely increase the use of the drug? Why? It is de facto legal in the Netherlands, and the percentage of users there is the same as here. The Dutch do odd things, but here they teach us a lesson.
My question is are there any bloggers or public intellectuals still defending keeping marijuana illegal? Is it just Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum left?