Tag: Drugs

Is the Drug War Toast? »

Public opinion now decisively favors legalizing marijuana. Fifty-eight percent of Americans want the war on pot to stop. Once marijuana is legal, the drug war as we know it will need a new life breathed into it to survive. Pot accounts for the vast majority of arrests and illicit drug users. It is much...
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“Parallel Construction”: Government Term for Lying About Its Investigations »

President Obama pledged to create “...an unprecedented level of openness in Government...” and to “... work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” With all the recent revelations about IRS abuses and NSA snooping that the president wants to keep secret, transparency in government increasingly appears...
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Orson Welles on Contracts and the Rule of Law »

From Peter Biskind’s hilarious and irreverent My Lunches with Orson, the edited transcripts of Orson Welles’s conversations with director Henry Jaglom in the mid-1980s: HJ: In the old days, all those big [movie] deals were made on a handshake. With no contract. And they were all honored. OW: In common with all Protestant and...
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Goodbye to the War On Drugs? »

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) that is meeting in Guatemala this week to discuss drug policy in the hemisphere is one of the few good things this body, whose record on the Cuban and Venezuelan tragedies is pathetic, has done. In early 2012, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina stirred...
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Why Has Congress Militarized the Bureaucrats? »

The war on drugs and the war on terrorism, I noted in a recent Beacon post, have fostered a crisis mentality that has eroded traditional constraints on domestic law enforcement. The new zeitgeist has resulted in police departments increasingly using “no knock” raids and other military-type tactics formerly considered off-limits to them. But other...
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Legalize Recreational Drugs »

I suspect that most readers of The Beacon tend to favor personal freedoms to a sufficient degree that they will immediately agree with the title of this post. If we want to live in a free country, freedom has to mean that we are free to make choices that others, including others in positions...
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Why Are Cops Acting Like Soldiers? »

From the early days of the United States to the post-Reconstruction era and beyond, Americans viewed the separation of the military from law enforcement as essential for the health of the republic. In recent years, however, the line between the police and the military has become increasingly blurred, with police departments across the United...
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Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years »

Most voters prioritize the economy and far behind that comes foreign policy, where both major presidential candidates offer more of the same. One can make arguments that on these important issues, one side is worse than the other. But another important set of issues, those of civil liberties, has gotten much less attention than...
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Social Liberalism and the Drug War »

In the 1990s, I read an interview with a rock star optimistic about the country’s direction. He thought President Clinton’s admission to having tried marijuana was a good sign. America was becoming more socially liberal. The new generation was in charge. And as one consequence, maybe the disastrous war on drugs would end. Not...
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The Problem of Unintended Consequences: How Good Intentions Often Lead to Perverse Effects »

Ideal health insurance is often said to be health insurance with no deductible or co-payment, making medical care essentially free at the point of delivery. Yet, if patients have no out-of-pocket costs, their economic incentive will be to overuse the system, essentially consuming healthcare until the last amount obtained has a value that approaches...
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