Applied drug policy analysis

How a rabbit’s drug-prevention program backfired.

A rabbit is hopping happily through the forest. On his way, he meets a giraffe who is about to smoke marijuana. The rabbit says to the giraffe, “Giraffe, you shouldn’t pollute your neck and hurt your lungs inhaling that harmful stuff! Let’s breathe in the fresh air as we jog through the forest.” The giraffe pauses, drops the marijuana, and follows the rabbit.

A little further through the forest, they meet an elephant about to snort cocaine. The rabbit says to the elephant, ‘‘Elephant, why do you want to ruin your precious trunk with that sinful powder? Sniff the spring flowers instead. Come jog with us and enjoy Mother Nature.” The elephant spills out the cocaine and jogs with the rabbit and giraffe.

Then they meet a lion who is about to shoot heroin. The rabbit says to the lion, ‘‘Lion, you’re the king of the forest! Isn’t that enough of a high for you? Join us for an invigorating jog on this lovely day!”

The lion puts down the heroin, punches out the rabbit, and, “Dammit, rabbit, I told you not to hassle me about jogging with you every time you drop Ecstasy!”

Adapted from

Loewenstein, J., & Heath, C. (2009). The Repetition-Break Plot Structure: A Cognitive Influence on Selection in the Marketplace of Ideas. Cognitive Science, 33(1), 1-19

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Applied drug policy analysis”

  1. "The Repetition-Break Plot Structure: A Cognitive Influence on Selection in the Marketplace of Ideas", seriously? Jesus.

  2. Musicians have been making use of this kind of structure since forever, w/o the plodder's crutch of representional content.

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