A few days ago, the Cato Institute posted this exceptional audio recording of John McWhorter (Dec 3, 2010) as its daily podcast. In it, McWhorter makes a compelling case against the so-called "war on drugs" by appealing to its detrimental effects on black Americans. He argues that the criminalization of the production and exchange of drugs causes the allocation of law enforcement resources towards the pursuit and apprehension of perpetrators who are disproportionately young black men. This, according to McWhorter, is the primary reason why the police encounter black men on such a routine basis and why the relationship between the police and black men is as acrimonious as it is.
McWhorter's main contention however is that the mal-effects of drug prohibition give the "racism forever Cassandras" the opportunity to lamentably and publicly misconstrue such mal-effects as the result instead of racial bigotry. Then the emphasis once again falls erroneously upon white Americans, as, according to the narrative of racial opportunists such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, white Americans are the perpetrators of such bigotry. This is not progress, says McWhorter. Ending the war on drugs would, as he says, "pull the rug out from under all of this"; it would leave race baiters and "victimologists" bereft of further excuses with which to argue against calls for black introspective reform.
I could reinforce McWhorter's argument with additional arguments, but nevertheless, McWhorter offers a convincing case against drug prohibition that conservatives can certainly embrace.