Tactic of Just Say Never

Some of the opponents of marijuana legalization, I call them the Just Say Never crowd, remind me of Graham Martin, the U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam at the time of the fall of Saigon.  Martin appears in “Last Days in Vietnam,” http://www.lastdaysinvietnam.com/, a documentary by Rory Kennedy.   He refused to contemplate the possibility that Saigon would fall.    He rejected any and all attempts to plan for defeat.  So, instead of huge aircraft or naval vessels being brought near the capital and the Embassy to do the evacuating, we saw the spectacle of desperate folks clinging to helicopters.  The Ambassador reminds me of the Just Say Never crowd — they would be better off dealing with reality.  Instead of abandoning the debate of How to legalize to the fans of marijuana, they might adopt the tactic of trying to figure out a middle ground (limiting advertising, keeping prices from collapsing, whatever they might think makes sense).

But by refusing to face the prospect that their position will turn out to be untenable, the Just Say Never crowd may be turning a manageable situation into a rout.

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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