President Obama recently conceded that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. That might be an understatement. According to research published in the medical journal The Lancet, alcohol is a more dangerous drug than crack and heroin when the combined harms to the user and to others are assessed. While the methodology behind the rankings can be credibly challenged—surely, heroin is more addictive and prone to overdose—it nonetheless highlights the arbitrary societal exemption granted to alcohol over other mind-altering substances.
Economic inequality in the United States is growing and people are pissed off. For a while, this anger was channeled at Wall Street—and given the jaw-dropping profits and dubious economic benefits of recent financial "innovation" this seemed like an appropriate target. However, as financial reform advocates lost momentum in Washington, a new target has emerged that can be stymied locally and is not yet politically entrenched—the sharing economy.
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