NYT’s bold call
for legal pot doesn’t
go far enough
TV producer David Simon is a prominent crusader for an end to the war on drugs.
In a bold and prominent series of editorials, The New York Times has this week been calling for federal legalization of marijuana.
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It is a courageous position and has sparked a national discussion about a topic bubbling up from the states.
But, alas, it doesn’t go far enough.
The 40-year war on drugs is the most corrupt federal policy ever, and it has a corrupting influence on almost everyone it touches.
The conversation should not start and end with pot. It should encompass the more fundamental proposition that substance abuse in general is not a matter for the criminal justice system at all.
Instead, it is a public health issue. Civilized countries have long moved in this direction. The US needs to evolve from incarcerating substance abusers to treating them. Not only would this be more humane, it also would save money and lives.