I imagine those who read my introduction, or are familiar with my writing on my main blog, Random Notes, are a bit surprised at my first two posts. As I have been a rather vocal advocate of not just legalizing illicit drugs, but also removing all prescription drug laws and eliminating medical licensing, it must seem strange to hear me arguing that it makes sense to more harshly punish drug users.
However, my first two posts are consistent with my stated goals. As I wrote in my introduction, I plan not to argue for drug legalization, but to assess the war on drugs as a whole. I think looking critically at drug laws will lead to the conclusion that drugs should be made legal, but I do not plan on publishing nothing but polemics.
In both of my first two posts, I am not suggesting that the present war on drugs is correct, I am simply arguing that, were one to accept that the purpose of drug laws is to discourage casual drug use, then allowing therapy instead of punishment produces the opposite outcome.
For those who came here expecting me to argue for the elimination of drug laws, worry not, I will be making plenty of arguments against the present drug laws. But, for now, I am taking a critical look at the laws as they now exist and asking what they do right, and what they do wrong, when viewed on their own terms. Once that is done, I plan to examine the posts I wrote on this subject on my other blog, revise and elaborate on the best of them, and post the results here. That should provide more than enough material for those on the legalization side of the debate. So you need only bear with me a little longer.
Originally Published in Examining the War on Drugs on 2008/05/29.