A Voice of Reason Is Gone!Milt Friedman has passed away.....not in a shortened life, but at age 94....hope I get that far...with a mind in place!
He is known for many, many things and was just as the title suggests a voice of reason.
Try his take (in a 1990 letter to Bill Bennett) on the drug problem......
"You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve. Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault. Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages." (Highlight added by ME!)
I am one of those who feels that if drugs (Marijuana, and a few more) were NOT illegal, the entire thing would go away....at LEAST to the extent alcohol has.....& There would not be drug lords dealing in drugs as they could be gotten from any dealer (legal, of course).
However, it was Friedman's nature to address all things in equally clear, straight-at-you kinds of talk. His "Libertarian" (may I call them that?) views are and were a refreshing breeze in the blogosphere, as they were in the mainstream of books/letters/publications of all kinds.
He will be sincerely missed!
His ideas, however, will live far longer than has he!