A Way Forward With Drugs, Ctd

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by Patrick Appel

E.D. Kain finds Kleiman's case against commercial cannabis unpersuasive. As does Pete Guither:

it is possible to regulate commercial advertising. Second, those who are likely to have problems with abusing drugs are likely to find them regardless of the marketing. Third, any advertising that promotes marijuana is likely to end up getting some people to consume pot rather than some more harmful drug.

Reihan is less brash:

Kleiman is a frank paternalist, and his arguments are potentially discomfiting for those of us of a libertarian bent. But as a prudential first step, I think he’s right to prefer non-commercial legalization.

Serwer is torn:

I'm not quite sure where I stand on the choice between legalization and criminalization, I do think that marijuana abuse is a relatively minor problem. I'd like to preserve that status quo while eliminating the draconian penalties and absurd amount of law-enforcement resources devoted to preventing people from toking. But I think Kain is being a bit to dismissive in arguing that there would be no adverse consequences from the mass marketing of marijuana. It seems entirely possible to me that commercializing the drug could create a problem where none really exists -- businesses have to make a profit; someone growing their own doesn't. A world where a smaller, less profitable illicit market that continues to exist looks a lot like our own without the outsize penalties and adverse consequences of over-enforcement. I'm not sure what a world with a fully commercialized marijuana industry that profits from turning people into potheads looks like, but it makes me nervous.

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