Super-long article on legalization, the war on drugs, inner-city violence. If you read anything today, make it this piece by Benjamin Wallace-Wells!
What we have begun to contemplate across the vast expense of the drug war is how that line might be redrawn, and the terms under which the cystic pockets of violence that have developed out beyond our boundaries might be welcomed back into society. America’s prior experience with alcohol prohibition can tell us something about the economics of what might happen in Colorado and Washington. But alcohol was only briefly illegal, and so when prohibition was revoked, the culture and economy of legal consumption could return, almost as if they had always been there. There is no similar memory of the neighborhood marijuana café, no history of the harmless, corporatist transit of cocaine through Central America. In its long tenure behind the line—in the United States and beyond—the drug traffic has acquired its own culture, hierarchy, and distinct habits. It has, as Adam Blackwell would say, a structure.
[via New York Magazine]