Don’t Give the Public What it Wants

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

As John Tierney points out in today’s New York Times, the public furor over meth usage is only the most recent fracas related to a long series of poor drug-policy decisions. And why are the policies created? Beating up on drugs, and drug users, is an easy way for the political class to score points with a crime-fearing public. When the media (including journalists) hypes the threat, they are only priming the pump. On this issue, good politics makes bad policy, and will until public perceptions about the efficacy of our drug laws come to match reality.

Mark Kleiman has a good post on why meth, as it stands now, is probably not a good candidate for legalization, as Tierney sort of suggests it might be. That step might work for say, pot, and not much else. But there are lots of reform possibilities, including decriminalization of small amount possession, that might go a long way towards helping addicts of more dangerous drugs. The point here is that even common sense steps like these fall victim to joint public-politician lust for the prohibition war.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend