Marking 420 day, the top scoring link on r/Politics this morning is an article from Forbes frankly criticizing the War on Drugs, calling it a dismal failure.  It argues that even if all the facts we hear about the bad effects of drugs are true, prohibition is still a bad policy.  Driving up the price of drugs, prohibition directly lines the pockets of dealers who only get stronger with their huge revenues.  Even if we catch a major player, although the newspapers get excited and report that we’re one step closer to ‘winning’ the war, the industry doesn’t go away, the article points out.  It finally highlights some of the negative consequences of the policy, the transformation of some neighbourhoods into war zones and the incarceration and criminalization of huge numbers of young people amongst these.  The article ends by telling us that the drug war has failed its objective, does not make us any less safe and is ‘insane’.

The 1644 comments contain varied responses to this article.  There is serious commentary, praising Forbes’ piece and its stance as pro-legislation whilst still acknowledging that drugs can be dangerous.  There is a lot of discussion about how dangerous drugs are perceived to be by different redditors, and some look at the role education does and should play in informing young people.  People draw parallels with guns, tobacco and alcohol, pointing out the lack of logic in allowing these to be widely available when they could potentially be more dangerous than some drugs.  There is also a lot of light-hearted joking in the commentary about banning everything dangerous, including bears and beds.

Coming in second today is a blogpost from Reason.  The post reports on a case in which a man was brought to court charged with attempting to influence jurors by handing out pamphlets about jury nullification near a federal courthouse in Manhattan.  The prosecution tried to argue that the accused writing positively about jury nullification and informing others was a form of controversial speech and criminal, but the case was dismissed, with the article celebrating what it referred to as a victory for free speech.

513 redditors responded to this link.  There is a great deal of criticism from some about the case.  Many reacted by saying that the man shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place and commentating that it violated his rights. Some point out that the case was a flawed application of the law.  There is a lot of discussion about jury nullification, what it boils down to and how and when it should and could be used, with some users contributing examples.

Today’s third top scoring link is published by Russia Today.  It is reporting on a bulletin from Texas congressman Ron Paul’s campaign, stating that he is still in the running for the GOP nomination.  His representatives say that the money is still rolling in for Paul, and with Santorum now out of the running he is in a position to collect more delegates.  The article compares Paul’s campaign to Newt Gingrich’s, arguing that the latter’s campaign may soon stall due to the huge amount of debt he has accumulated, in contrast to Paul who has no debt and is still seeing the money rolling in.

Out of the 2412 responses to this link, many of them express grudging respect for Ron Paul, a great number of them admitting to not liking his policies but admiring the way he is running his campaign.  Others favourably analyse his policies and refer to Paul as the most transparent candidate in the running for President.  The popularity of this link may be explained by the interesting debate it opened up for redditors, with many seriously and thoughtfully engaging with the story.

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