A modest proposal

Now that we know how bad concussion is, especially for teenagers, how about not having high-school kids play sports with substantial concussion risk?

Could we possibly have high-school kids play sports with lower concussion risk than football? (And ban the “header” in scholastic soccer, or require shock-absorbing helmets?)

No, I suppose we couldn’t. Never mind.

But if high-school football were a drug, it would be in Schedule I. NIDA has spent approximately a gazillion dollars looking for evidence of lasting cognitive deficits from pot-smoking, and found nothing nearly as clear-cut as the risks associated with concussion, which is a fairly routine risk of playing football under current rules.

Just sayin’.

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