May 18, 2012 1:06PM

‘Lawsuit Contentions, Like Beer Itself, Can Be Dangerous When Over‐​Quaffed by the Naive’

To be fair about it, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has written some pretty good stuff about the Drug War and other topics. But when he’s having a weak day, he’s weaker than watered beer, or so I conclude in a new Reason piece about his latest crusade.

Last week Kristof urged readers to boycott Anheuser‐​Busch products until the brewer cuts off beer sales near the alcoholism‐​ravaged Pine Ridge reservation of the Oglala Sioux. Whatever you think of the paternalistic premises at work here, Nebraska’s system of wholesaler‐​protective beer regulation appears to make it impossible, even unlawful, for the maker of Budweiser to do any such thing. And Kristof’s second proposal, to extend the boundaries of the reservation itself, fails to allow for obvious adaptive responses by both sellers and buyers.

Kristof has more insight than most of his colleagues into why the Drug War has failed. Why does he seem to forget those insights when it comes to the most familiar of legal drugs?