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February 07, 2012


Karl Narveson

I have a guess about why jail sentences for marijuana are still popular. Tell me if you think it makes sense--not ethical sense, mind you, but political sense. I think when you remind the public that marijuana possession is a victimless crime, people think (often subconsciously) "Oh, good, that means we locked them up without having to wait till somebody actually got hurt."

It's hard for the public to imagine that people in bad places don't deserve to be there. That will be why Oliver Twist speaks such elevated English. Dickens doubtless knew how the products of a workhouse education actually talked, but he wanted his readers to identify with Oliver.

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