T Nation

Drug Control - Milton Friedman`s the Man

Found in DGSkalsky`s thread article


(…) Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. IIlegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault.


Had drugs been decriminalized 17 years ago, "crack’’ would never have been invented (it was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it profitable to provide a cheaper version) and there would today be far fewer addicts. The lives of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent victims would have been saved, and not only in the U.S. The ghettos of our major cities would not be drug-and- crime-infested no-man’s lands. Fewer people would be In jails, and fewer jails would have been built.


Decriminallzing drugs Is even more urgent now than in 1972, but we must recognize that the harm done In the interim cannot be wiped out, certainly not immediately. Postponing decriminalizatlon will only make matters worse, and make the problem appear even more intractable.
Alcohol and tobacco cause many more deaths in users than do drugs. Decriminallzation would not prevent us from treating drugs as we now treat alcohol and tabacco: prohibiting sales of drugs to minors, outlawing the advertising of drugs and similar measures. Such measures could be enforced, while outright prohibition cannot be. Moreover, if even a small fraction of the money we now spend on trying to enforce drug prohibition were devoted to treatment and rehabilitation, in an atmosphere of compassion not punishment, the reduction in drug usage and in the harm done to the users could be dramatic.

I think hes got a goodlesser of 2 evilsidea. Dont just stop at these. Read the whole article.

While I applaud both the message and the messenger, I think it falls on deaf ears. Bill Bennett, John Ashcroft and Little Bush are collectively way, way, way too stupid to even consider this as an option.

Even if Bush tried it would be political suicide because of intense partisanship. Democrans who might like the idea would attack him because of his past history as a druggie. But the real firestorm would likely come from within the Republicat party. Although it would be pretty funny to hear what that fat windbag Rush would have to say.

I have felt this for a long time; a friend of mine wanted me to start reading some of this guy’s stuff.

Illegality of anything simply provides incentives for criminals to sell whatever it happens to be. The attempted control costs money which places a drain on the system that only makes the problem worse. The sad part about all of this is it seems most of the people who are either in government or are in that “age group” think we need a police state, not freedom. Responsibilty is learned through freedom, not control. Its time to get these assholes out of government. I’m very seriously looking forward to a time when gen-X “classical liberals” such as Libertarians finally get an opportunity to do the smart things to get this country back on track.

If drugs are legalized, they will fall back to their previous form of use which from what I can tell is 70% less than what it is today. Prohibition created organized crime; what a fantastic idea! Prohibition of alcohol didn’t work, and neither will drugs. Its time to stop worrying about who’s smoking pot (because they are anyway) and start worrying about violent criminals, punishing them to the fullest extent possible. This is only going to work if “minor” crimes are dealt with in other ways besides incarceration.

Socialism subsidizes irresponsibility. Its time to return this country to the people who are in fact the reason this country exists.

On the other side, no government using its guns-and-fists enforcement method will follow Friedman`s ideas.

Whos gonna sacrifice his drug-enforcement-related job for thecommon good` ? None, or never enough.

The impenetrable wall of self-interest will guarantee status quo.

Too bad their survival passes before honest citizen`s ones.

In a microecon class back in undergrad one of our test questions was on this very topic.

Interestingly the professor was a former economic advisor to Reagan.

I’ve been harping about drug legalization to my friends for years. I hope someday it will become a reality. But it takes the people of a nation to stand up and demand freedom.

tme: I don’t think it’s a case of stupidity but rather it’s the obscene profits that keep drugs illegal. As the original article said it corrupts law enforcement. How many cops, attorneys and judges do think have been paid off with drug profits? What about political donations? What about stories implicating the C.I.A. and the other alphabetical agencies of this government that smuggle drugs into the country?