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POLICY: How did this sneak into the WSJ?

The opinion pages of the WSJ are known for being full of neo-cons and conservatives — people who think that they know what’s best for you and aren’t afraid of getting the US Government to use its power to enforce it here and abroad. The only libertarians with a megaphone I know are the love ’em or hate ’em John Tierney in the NYTimes, and the pop-culture joker John Stossel on PrimeTime 20/20 ABC.

But what’s this, on Feb 21 the WSJ had a signed op-ed column from staffer George Melloan called Musings About the War on Drugs. The column suggests what anyone who isn’t blind, deaf, dumb, biased or making a living from prohibition already knows — the war on drugs is a complete failure that is contributing to most of the worse elements of society. It continues only as a full employment act for some very unpleasant agencies of the US government (the heartless DEA prominent among them), even more unpleasant private corporations, and international criminals and terrorists — all of whom apparently have similar personal ethics.

Given that the WSJ is usually a mouthpiece for some of the worst hypocritical pontificators of the fascist social conservative right (Bill Bennet, anyone), is something going on that we should know about?  After all a much more rational media organization of the right, The Economist, has been pushing for an end to drug prohibition for years. I’m hoping that this isn’t just a flash in the pan…

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