Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Abandon the prohibition on drugs

A lot of time, effort and money is wasted on the enforcement of anti-drug laws. Over at The Pin Factory Blog Tim Worstall makes a simple but important point about why the War on Drugs will be lost:
But the basic construction of the argument is entirely correct: we'll never actually stop drug taking, therefore never stop drug growing or trafficking. And the three of them being illegal is doing far more damage to drug users and also the civil liberties of everyone than that controlled legalisation would cause.
The point is also made in the Worstall posting,
A dialogue on drug markets regulation should address some of the following questions: how can we diminish the violence generated by drug abuse? How can we strengthen public health and social protection systems in order to prevent substance abuse and provide support to drug addicts and their relatives? How can we provide economic and social opportunities to families and communities that benefit economically from drug production and trafficking? Which regulations should be put in place to prevent substance abuse (prohibition of sales to minors, prohibition of advertising in mass media, high selective consumption taxes for drugs etc)?
Thinking about, and acting on, such questions rather than continuing the outright ban we now have in place has the potential to reduce both the social and economic costs of drug use.

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