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by Peter Moskos

May 22, 2009

It all goes back to the war on drugs

I'm supposed to grading papers so I'll keep this short. But what does the police beating in Birmingham and the foiled terrorist plot in New York have in common?

Neither would have happened were it not for the war on drugs.

Three of the four bad guys in New York were in prison... for drug offenses. In prison they "converted" and hatched their little plan.

And the guy who tried to kill a cop in Birmingham was fleeing... because of drugs.

We need to legalize drugs not because drugs are good, but because locking people up for drugs makes them worse.


Jason said...

I see what you're trying to say, but alcohol is legal. Yet people end up in jail for alcohol related offenses, or offenses committed while under the influence. So when legalizing drugs doesn't make a difference what will the answer be?

PCM said...

The difference is that people go to jail for bad things they actually did while drunk. Not just because they possessed a bottle of booze.

I have no problem with locking up people for drug-related crimes. The problem is we've filled up our prisons--and created more criminals--because of prohibition itself.

Anonymous said...


What are your thoughts on accusations of entrapment by the authorities in the New York terrorist plot and that the informant was overly aggressive/pushy in recruiting these accused terrorists?


PCM said...

I actually haven't followed it closely enough. I'll have to play catch up. Feel free to leave your thoughts.