Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Health Care and Drug Policy

Who saw Sicko this weekend? I did. And I think it's worth seeing, no matter where you fall in the political spectrum, if only to get a better sense of where the national dialog on the health care issue is evolving in the U.S.

Like it our not, Democrats have the majority in Congress. And Pew reports that 69% of Americans think that the government should take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, which is up from 57% in 1994, the year that the GOP took Congress.

So, what does this have to do with drug policy reform? It has everything to do with drug policy reform.

As we reformers move forward with our intention to replace drug prohibition with sensible alternatives, we are constantly forced to propose a model for those alternatives. This is underscored by the fact that the majority of Americans, when polled, believe that the War on Drugs has failed and can never be won, and yet, the majority of Americans fail to embrace legalization.

And can we blame them? "Legalization" is a scary word to many, especially if unaccompanied by the specifics of what a post-prohibitionist world would look like. So, I'd like to challenge you to propose those specifics, by answering the following two questions in the comments:

1) What post-prohibitionist drug policy model would you prefer? Should drugs be tightly regulated by the government, or should they be sold on the free market with little government intervention? Or would you prefer a model that fits somewhere in between?

2) If you don't get your way on question 1, would the alternative be preferable to prohibition? For example, if you favor free market capitalism, would tight regulation or distribution by the government be better or worse than the current War on Drugs?

Post your answers to these questions in the comments.