Beyond the war about drugs

Jon Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer and I have some thoughts on drug policy in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. And Beau has an essay on the uncertainties surrounding cannabis policy – especially the effect of legal pot on heavy drinking – drawn from our forthcoming book, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.

My favorite line got cut, so I’ll use it here:

Wholesale drug legalization is to drug policy as the flat tax is to fiscal policy or the gold standard to monetary policy: a fine sound-bite or Tweet that doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

But the main point of the piece is that the current regime of undifferentiated drug law enforcement and mass incarceration is not the only alternative to legal availability of the currently illicit drugs: we could choose instead to enforce our current laws more intelligently.