Bryan Caplan  

Drug War Debate Bleg

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The GMU Econ Society wants me to debate the drug war in the spring, but I can't think of any decent debating partners.  The ideal opponent is a smart, civil, high-status prohibitionist who lives in the DC area.

Your suggestions?


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COMMENTS (17 to date)
josh writes:

B. H. Obama.

Bill Kruse writes:

How about former drug czar (under Clinton), Barry McCaffrey? There's a good chance he lives in the DC area.

Jacob writes:

Ethan nadelmann is based in ny, but maybe he'd make the trip

Joe writes:

maybe bill bennett

Duane Moore writes:

I was also going to suggest Bill Bennett.

Commenter guy writes:

Be careful - I once heard Bill Bennet on the radio. The guy has a perfect radio voice that's even better than Arnold Kling's. You might be outmatched.

Tom West writes:

The ideal opponent is a smart, civil, high-status prohibitionist

I'd go with smart rather than high-profile.

I have seen two of these academics vs. high-profile debates and neither worked well.

High-status (usually politicians) means that your success holding your position is based on how persuasive you are to the general electorate rather than building a solid, logical argument.

Also, people's whose jobs depend on maintaining those positions *cannot* be seen as acknowledging any weakness in any aspect of their position. It would be a "career-limiting move".

You end up with two sides essentially having two completely separate debates against non-existent opponents judged by two entirely different criteria.

Both weren't much fun to watch.

rhhardin writes:

Lis Wiehl, former prosecutor, is convinced at the top of her voice that marijuana is a gateway drug.

chipotle writes:

This is the "meat' of the post:

Kevin Sabet

Alex Nowrasteh writes:

Cully Stimson or Ray Walser of the Heritage Foundation. They are the policy analysts for the drug war there.

http://www.heritage.org/issues/legal/crime/war-on-drugs

Andrew B. writes:

How about Nancy Reagan? Though i suppose she will just say no...


thank you, thank you. ill be here till may 2012.

Stephen Smith writes:

"smart [...] prohibitionist"

...oxymoron?

Noah Yetter writes:

Stephen Smith beat me to the punch with the optimal comment

ionides writes:

Check the speaker's bureau of one of the major drug cartels.

Rick Stewart writes:

I suggest recruiting the devil ...

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