“Drugs Have Won”:

The NYT‘s Nicholas Kristof joins the ranks of those urging an end to the drug war. The War on drugs, Kristof notes, has had three consequences: 1) “we have vastly increased the proportion of our population in prisons”; 2) “we have empowered criminals at home and terrorists abroad”; and 3) “we have squandered resources.” Writes Kristof, “if our aim is to reduce the influence of harmful drugs, we can do better.”

Kristof notes that the available empirical evidence suggests that decriminalization would not produce a dramatic increase in drug consumption. Still, there is significant uncertainty. He puts forward an interesting proposal:

Moving forward, we need to be less ideological and more empirical in figuring out what works in combating America