Vice Squad
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Recent Vice News From the Blogosphere

Adopting, yea, even perfecting the lazy person's guide to vice blogging, let me pass along some pointers to vice policy activity at better blogs:

(1) Mark Kleiman notes the suspension of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program, source of much of our information about heavy drug use in the United States. Reasons for the suspension of ADAM remain murky, but Kleiman does mention that our nation's President found time in the State of the Union address to propose more funds for high schools that would like to administer drug tests to their students. (Remember South Carolina Senator Ernest Hollings's response when a challenger for his senate seat asked Hollings if he would take a drug test? It was along the lines of: "I'll take a drug test if he takes an IQ test.")

Over at Crescat, Peter Northrup makes a less than half-hearted, second-best argument that maybe losing the data on heavy users isn't so bad: "If all drug policy officials looked at--all they could look at--were the data on casual users, maybe we'd have a drug policy that was merely bad, rather than inexcusable."

(2) At Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok joins the Free Tommy Chong forces. While at Marginal Revolution, check out Tyler Cowen's post on how smokers who cut down partially offset the reduction in cigarettes by smoking more intensely. For more on this topic, and evidence that the offset (in this case, brought on by increased excise taxes that induce a shift to higher tar and nicotine cigarettes) is more than complete for young smokers, see William N. Evans and Matthew C. Farrelly, “The Compensating Behavior of Smokers: Taxes, Tar, and Nicotine,” Rand Journal of Economics 29: 578-595, Autumn 1998.

(3) Ken Lammers at Crimlaw documents the most recent (and most outrageous?) inroad into Fourth Amendment rights, in the service of ensuring that factually-guilty defendants will not walk. Naturally, the case involves (in part) drugs.

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