Mark Kleiman demonstrates that simply locking up more people for lengthier terms is no longer a workable crime-control strategy. But, says Kleiman, there has been a revolution--largely unnoticed by the press--in controlling crime by means other than brute-force incarceration: substituting swiftness and certainty of punishment for randomized severity, concentrating enforcement resources rather than dispersing them, communicating specific threats of punishment to specific offenders, and enforcing probation and parole conditions to make community corrections a genuine alternative to incarceration. As Kleiman shows, "zero tolerance" is nonsense: there are always more offenses than there is punishment capacity. But, it is possible--and essential--to create focused zero tolerance, by clearly specifying the rules and then delivering the promised sanctions every time the rules are broken.
Brute-force crime control has been a costly mistake, both socially and financially. Now that we know how to do better, it would be immoral not to put that knowledge to work.
According to Gallup 58% of Americans support ending marijuana prohibition, and Colorado and Washington State have already passed historic ballot initiatives to tax and regulate pot. When it comes to marijuana in the United States, it is no longer a question of when, but how it will be legalized.
After Legalization is a creative exploration of one likely future for legal marijuana that will give readers a sense of the coming battles, relevant players and political dynamics which will dominate the issue in the coming years.
How will it happen, and what will America look like after legalization? What should be the age limit? Will we tightly restrict its sale to only a few specialty stores, or will it be allowed on the shelves at every shopping market in the country? Should we give individuals free rein to grow as much as they want, or will we limit production to a few licensed farms?
If you care about the answers to these and other questions concerning the future of marijuana policy, this is a pivotal moment to join the conversation; the decisions made now will likely define the industry for decades to come.
PRAISE FOR AFTER LEGALIZATION:
GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: “Jon Walker has established himself as one of the most diligent, insightful and important young policy writers in America, and this new book cements that status. America is finally coming to terms with the stark irrationality and destructiveness of its criminal prohibitions on marijuana, rendering legalization inevitable. Walker’s hard-earned expertise is vital for understanding how this process can be accelerated and most effectively implemented. It’s a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in drug policy and reform.”
RYAN GRIM, HUFFINGTON POST DC BUREAU CHIEF: “The history of American drug policy shows that it does not move in one direction only. At the turn of the century, drugs were legal before being prohibited, followed by liberalization in the ’70s, followed by the crackdown of the next several decades. Gains made today could be wiped out tomorrow, which is what gives Jon Walker’s remarkable book its unique importance.This is the clear-eyed look around the corner that is urgently needed.”
Through an objective examination of marijuana and alcohol, and the laws and social practices that steer people toward the latter, the authors pose a simple yet rarely considered question: Why do we punish adults who make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol? For those unfamiliar with marijuana, Marijuana Is Safer provides an introduction to the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, and debunks some of the government's most frequently cited marijuana myths.
More importantly, for the millions of Americans who want to advance the cause of marijuana policy reform--or simply want to defend their own personal, safer choice--this book provides the talking points and detailed information needed to make persuasive arguments to friends, family, coworkers, elected officials and, of course, future voters.