Municipalize Drug Law

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia isn’t a supporter of legalizing drugs. But he does believe that passing federal laws against them has done harm to the U.S. government. “It was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. … Chief Justice William Rehnquist complained as far back as 1989 that the war on drugs was overwhelming the federal judiciary. (more; HT John Fast)

There’s no way the US will legalize drugs anytime soon, but if drug laws were up to cities or counties, a few places would legalize them, and then everyone else could see if that works out ok. And then maybe more places would legalize. Those of you who saw The Wire may recall that its successful experiment in local drug legalization was shut down by threats from feds.

Back in ’09 I suggested a similar solution on medicine. There’s no way we’ll substantially privatize medicine anytime soon, but if cities were in charge then places that let spending get out of control would decline relative to others that controlled costs more effectively. Losers would learn from winners, to all our benefit.

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