The Lisbon primary

The taxi-driver primary in Lisbon goes overwhelmingly for Obama.

I’ve been in Lisbon the past couple of days at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy. That explains the light blogging. I’ll be home Sunday night.

In the meantime, a political report. I flew to Lisbon (via London) wearing an Obama lapel button. As the passport clerk at the airport stamped my papers, he said “Do you think he can make it?” When I got into a cab, the taxi driver asked if I had a second button on hand, because his son had been asking for one. (As I happened, I did have a spare, and gave up the one I was wearing.) Button #2 went to another taxi driver the next evening.

So I’d say Obama figures to do well in the Lisbon primary. Reaction among my fellow international drug policy colleagues was comparably enthusiastic. There seems to be a strong dsire on the part of many people who live outside the US to have, once again, a U.S. President they can admire. Let’s just hope Obama finds equal support in Pennsylvania.

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: