John McWhorter wants to legalize all drugs. The heart of his argument:

[W]ith no War on Drugs there would be, within one generation, no “black problem” in the United States. Poverty in general, yes. An education problem in generalprobably. But the idea that black America had a particular crisis would rapidly become history, requiring explanation to young people ...

That is neither an exaggeration nor an oversimplification. It comes down to this: If there were no way to sell drugs on the street at a markup, then young black men who drift into this route would instead have to get legal work. They would. Those insisting that they would not have about as much faith in human persistence and ingenuity as those who thought women past their five-year welfare cap would wind up freezing on sidewalk grates.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.