“How to Legalize Pot”

Bill Keller on mj legalization: Can we get to “orderly market” without passing through “way too stoned”?

Remind me to talk to Bill Keller more often. Not many reporters will expend the effort to understand the nuances of a complex issue and make them understandable to non-specialist readers. Key quote: “Can we get to ‘orderly market’ without passing through ‘way too stoned’?”

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

4 thoughts on ““How to Legalize Pot””

  1. Well, if that was the key quote, Keller got it wrong: “…as Mark Kleiman puts it, “design a system that gets us to ‘orderly’ without getting us to ‘way too stoned.’ ””

    But anyway my favorite line there is “All this regulating is almost enough to take the fun out of drugs.”

  2. I’m a non-pot smoker, myself. My detached, academic reasons for supporting legalization and regulation of marijuana (like we do the more dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco,) had to do with the economic and social costs of law enforcement in wasted taxes and destroyed lives.

    But then a beloved relative, who suffers from a back injury, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has less than a year to live, now. A few years ago, with great difficulty, he managed to get free from the oxycodone addiction he’d developed from treating his back pain. So he can’t take opiates any longer. Then he turned to alcohol, which eased his pain, but he has become an alcoholic, so, now that outlet is closed to him, too. Shouldn’t he be able to ease his suffering in his final months with marijuana? But he lives in a state where even medical marijuana is not allowed, and to put his family through the hell of risking arrest and prosecution for drugs isn’t an option.

    These laws are unjust, and they hurt. It hurts me, now, because it’s hurting my loved one. It’s unfair. He needs help now, because it is soon too late. Where do I rage?

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