One of the odder reactions to the events of this weekend was David Frum’s rush to blame reefer madness: “The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana,” he writes, going on to cite some of the research showing (somewhat murky) links between marijuana use and schizophrenia.
But we don’t just “regulate” marijuana — we outlaw it. There’s a link between schizophrenia and alcohol abuse, and the shooter, in addition to being a pothead, apparently was treated for alcohol poisoning in high school. If the shooting in Tucson is an argument for marijuana prohibition, it must also be an argument for alcohol prohibition. Having been served a few adult beverages at David’s house, I have a really hard time imagining that he’s willing to endorse reviving the Noble Experiment. So if he has a justification for arresting over 800,000 Americans a year for having the wrong drug of choice, he has yet to present it.