Don’t Give the Public What it Wants

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As John Tierney points out in today’s New York Times, the public furor over meth usage is only the most recent fracas related to a long series of poor drug-policy decisions. And why are the policies created? Beating up on drugs, and drug users, is an easy way for the political class to score points with a crime-fearing public. When the media (including journalists) hypes the threat, they are only priming the pump. On this issue, good politics makes bad policy, and will until public perceptions about the efficacy of our drug laws come to match reality.

Mark Kleiman has a good post on why meth, as it stands now, is probably not a good candidate for legalization, as Tierney sort of suggests it might be. That step might work for say, pot, and not much else. But there are lots of reform possibilities, including decriminalization of small amount possession, that might go a long way towards helping addicts of more dangerous drugs. The point here is that even common sense steps like these fall victim to joint public-politician lust for the prohibition war.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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