Away games

New posts on medical marijuana at the American Constitution Society website and on crime control at the Volokh Conspiracy.

The American Constitution Society asked me for some thoughts on the latest announcement from the Justice Department about enforcement policy in states with “medical marijuana” laws.  The result is now posted on the ACS blog.

And Eugene Volokh has generously given me access to the Volokh Conspiracy to post about When Brute Force Fails and the project of reducing crime and incarceration.  I find the comment thread somewhat discouraging.  Few of the commenters engage with the argument; most prefer to denounce (1) drug prohibition; (2) liberalism and (3) poor people and ethnic minorities (this last from a small but vocal subgroup).  My favorite comment so far responds to a passage urging a later school day as a crime-control measure.  The commenter is outraged at the prospect of “the government violating my rights by dictating to me … when I send my child to school.”

If any RBC reader decides to join the fun, please do so politely.

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:

9 thoughts on “Away games”

  1. Well now that you have restored comments here, you can hope to read such grade A utterly hilarious idiocy opinions right here without leaving the comfort of your own blog.

  2. I just read the comment thread at the Volokh Conspiracy. My personal favorite was the one in which a commenter advocated training police officers to kill suspects rather than arrest them. I guess that would reduce our prison population.

    I wish you well in your week there. I think I'll now go take a shower.

  3. Hi Dwight.

    Hey. It's fun over there. Glad to see Mark preaching to the very definitely unconverted.

  4. In fairness to the Volokh commentariat, you haven't specifically or forcefully presented your concrete proposals yet, so (one hopes) you are just getting a sort of background noise.

  5. @Martin, agreed. The intro post was kind of scattershot (hitting a lot of sensitive areas for libertarians steeled against liberals-takin-my-liberty), but essential background.

  6. I think your Volokh post is engaging and fair-minded.

    But consider this: For those that believe in torture, brute force never fails.

    And most of the commenters over there I suspect adhere to torture.

    So here is the rub:

    You are preparing the ground for an economic/scientific argument, but:

    Are the minds of people who torture, or countenance torture, open to a hypothesis that strikes at that core belief?

    I think not. It is like trying to convince an atheist that god is real or a Christian that the devil is a hoax.

    Very few are movable to a new view.

    Obviously I think torture is a sort of deep litmus test.

    I don't think you believe in torture because of an argument.

    And I don't think you oppose it because of an argument.

    The arguments pro and con are just decorations for what is in your genes.

    Intellectually I am very curious to hear your arguments for how brute force fails.

    You've made it into a bit of a rational game with a hint of max/min mathematics…

    But also, I oppose torture. Not because of the arguments against it.

    But because my personality runs high on the empathy scale…

  7. If you're talking about enforcing drug laws, or reducing prison population in a nation where much of that population is there because of drug laws, denouncing drug prohibition is always relevant.

  8. Well….

    I don't know anything about ACS Blog Away games…

    Is there any kind of help for me…?

    Is there any ideas about rules and regulations of that game…?

    If yes, post here…..

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