by David Downs
At a pre-Grammy gala, noting the deaths of Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Whitney Houston, singer Tony Bennett appealed for drug legalization, saying "Let's legalize drugs like they did in Amsterdam. No one's hiding or sneaking around corners to get it. They go to a doctor to get it, [not] gangsters that just sell it under the table."
Comments Sterling on Justice & Drugs: "What strikes me is that in this context the argument is implicitly a public health claim, not an argument grounded in opposition to legal injustice, favoring individual liberty, saving taxpayer's money, or fighting crime. Given the very different circumstances of the deaths of Jackson, Winehouse and Houston, it seems to me Bennett seems to have an understanding of the negative ways drug prohibition abuse affects so many features of drug use patterns and treatment. It is also striking that on the occasion of Whitney Houston's death, instead of simply lamenting drugs or substance abuse, or endorsing the importance of treatment, Bennett felt moved to endorse a policy change, namely, drug legalization. Bravo Tony Bennett!"
We couldn't agree more.