Vice Squad
Sunday, August 29, 2004
A Judicious Approach to the War on Drugs

The cover story on today's New York Times Book Review is a searching critique by Judge (and University of Chicago colleague) Richard Posner on the 9/11 Commission Report. The version of the Report read by Judge Posner consists of two sections, some 338 pages of narrative followed by 90 pages of recommendations. The Judge paused in his own reading between the sections, and asked himself what recommendations he would make on the basis of the information contained in the narrative. He came up with seven recommendations, the sixth of which is:
(6) The thousands of federal agents assigned to the ''war on drugs,'' a war that is not only unwinnable but probably not worth winning, should be reassigned to the war on international terrorism.
He goes on to note that though there is some activity, "powerful political forces limit progress on (6)."

Meanwhile, Libby at Last One Speaks reports pretty regularly on the excessive police and military resources that go into finding marijuana plants. Today she looks at a North Carolina bust that involved the National Guard.

Incidentally, Judge Posner today ends a week-long stint as a guest blogger (alas, on some other blog); here's his most recent post. And while I only highlighted the part of his article touching on the war on drugs, his entire "dissent" from the 9/11 Commission Report makes for thought-provoking reading.

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