[snip] Putting it in the nicest possible way. “This is not the place to attempt a cost-benefit analysis of the war on drugs,” writes Judge Richard Posner in Catastrophe: Risk and Response. “Suffice it to say that throwing hundreds of thousands of people into prison, inciting gang warfare, and complicating our foreign relations–all in order just to raise somewhat the price of an arbitrary subset of mind-altering substances–may well be measures that cost more than they are worth.”

[snip] After you graduate we have a thankless task for you. “You live in a nation with a profoundly anti-intellectual streak,” University of Chicago president Don Michael Randel told students last fall (University of Chicago Record). “This is dangerous for world peace and justice as well as for domestic prosperity. You must be the nation’s defense against itself in this regard.”

[snip] You can be too careful, argues Gregg Easterbrook in the online New Republic. “Once hazmat units were everywhere, they had to justify their existence. They have done so largely by declaring more and more events to be not mere problems but hazardous-materials emergencies. Two weeks ago, for instance, a medical student at Marshall University dropped a bottle containing phenol, which has a strong odor and is toxic if swallowed. Carefully clean up the phenol? No, declare a hazmat emergency! Marshall evacuated everyone from the medical school, which was closed while hazmat crews moved in.”

[snip] “Who’s pro-choice now?” asks David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute, musing on the National Organization for Women’s opposition to silicone-gel breast implants. “No drug or medical procedure is without risk. Not abortion, not breast implants, not the morning-after pill. The question is who makes the decision. One answer is ‘it’s a woman’s right to control her body.’ Apparently that’s only the feminist answer if the question is abortion.”