By Bryan Caplan
But there are things we can do about drug policy that would reduce the
number of people in prison, and the extent of drug abuse and drug
related crime. Legalization isn’t one of them because there’s not public
support for it. And if we acknowledge the fact that, from the point of
view of the majority of the population it’s a loser, um, then it’s not
as if we can talk them out of that, so I think the legalization debate
is mostly a distraction from doing the real work of fixing our drug
Plainly, the whole don’t-talk-about-drug-legalization argument as stated
above has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of drug
legalization. Taken at face value, these pleading solicitations for us
to shut up carry with them the salient implication that if drug
legalization were politically viable, then it would be a perfectly sensible thing to discuss.
drug legalization could become politically viable overnight if not for
the multitudes of influential people who continue to oppose it largely
because it lacks political viability.
Contrary to some people in the comments, I am in no way critical of Morgan. For all I know, he second-guesses the public on a wide variety of issues. My point is simply that the typical single-issue activist eagerly second-guesses the public on their pet issue, but probably remains deferential to public opinion as a general rule.
Update: I thought “Kleiman” but wrote “Kelman.” My bad.