The New Republic: A Rising America = Drug Legalization?

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Notice, though, that Darnell is a perfectly rational, normal human being. Just as I am not describing a choiceless victim of “institutional racism,” I am not describing a monster or a wastrel. What we need is not a forum where people clap at zestily-enunciated lines about “responsibility.” We need simply to imagine a day when a Jevon thinks about dropping out of school and selling drugs and realizes that he can’t do that because drugs are available for low prices at Rite-Aid and CVS, after checking Prices For Prescription Drugs and others online.

He’d stay in school. Watch. And this is a prime reason the War on Drugs must end. It tears poor black communities to pieces. Not only by flooding them with police – but by encouraging bright young black people to work the black market and lending it an air of heroism.

This is not about being Libertarian. This is not about me trying to redeem myself with people under the impression that I am a Republican. This is not about Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out. This is about making black lives better – and via that, making America better. We should heed the Neill Franklins and Bob Ainsworths among us and take meaningful action. All year I have noticed a quiet groundswell in this direction; I hope it continues.

The article is worth reading. Of course, McWhorter is indeed making the libertarian argument for drug legalization, with it’s myriad of pitfalls. The end of prohibition did not destroy the careers of gangsters and racketeers, nor will drug legalization destroy the crack peddler or inner city gangs. It will only serve to legitimize them.

Free societies require rational beings. The moment individuals resign their rationality, they resign their willingness to participate in that free society, and may be restricted by law — the force that society uses to protect us from bad guys. Children are handled this way, those who are mad or insane are handled this way. Those on the path to destructive behaviors are often under the penalty of law for many of the same reasons — because our actions never occur in a vacuum, but indeed affect those around us. Your liberties stop where mine begin.

Until someone can identify the reasonable, sane amount of crack or PCP to consume, the idea that the “benefits” of drug legalization outweigh the consequences falls remarkably short.

As for the African-American community, about half of the solution is to quit patronizing and start offering the resources to get those communities back on their feet. If our failing neighborhoods were Wall Street banks…

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