During President Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address, he declared that “in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”The populist right would do well to apply that formulation to the street violence associated with the drug trade. The War on Drugs is a decades-old federal effort that has failed as consistently and completely as any government initiative in American history. A generation has passed since National Review declared it irrevocably lost. Yet Attorney General Jeff Sessions, America’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, doesn’t even grasp the most obvious tradeoff that prohibitions are making.
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