You don’t have to be a drug user to advocate drug legalisation or decriminalisation- all you have to be is a truly conservative, free-market, small government capitalist.
Prohibition didn’t work in the USA in the 1920s- it created Al Capone. Jail still doesn’t cure addiction, 80 odd years later.
Banning drugs does absolutely nothing to stop people from using them, but free-market forces could go a long way to reducing drug abuse and treating addicts. I’m in favour of legalisation of most street drugs along with a taxation regime to get some sort of a handle on recreational drug markets.
At this moment, it’s the drug dealers who are making the decisions on who to sell drugs to. While dealers rarely target schoolkids (why would they? schoolkids don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on drugs), when easily avoided zero-tolerance prohibition policies are in force, the resulting unregulated drug dealers are choosing who they sell to- in the ultimate laissez-faire capitalist market.
If recreational drugs were legalised, supply could be controlled by the government. This would offer an opportunity to assure the safety and purity of recreational drugs, avoiding Anna Wood or Annabel Catt type deaths from bad eccies or heroin overdoses caused by ‘unusually pure’ batches.
Oddly enough, ‘droughts’ in heroin supply are directly implicatable in overdose deaths. Users’ tolerance to the drug may reduce after a period of enforced abstinence. When use of the drug is resumed at the last known dosage rate, which may have been during a time of ready supply, the recreational dose can be fatal. Steady supply reduces this proven harm.
A rationing or registration system could pick up on people who use too much of any such controlled drug if drugs were sold in government controlled or regulated recreational drug shops, similar to state owned liquor stores in the US state of Ohio.
Aside from a monitoring system, a government could assert some meaningful control over excessive use of drugs by levying higher taxes on drugs of physical addiction. However, government pricing would have to significantly undercut the street market price to have any effect. If you remove the profit motive in dealing drugs, you also remove predatory, opportunist, violent gangsters from drug dealing. The gangsters will have to find something else to sell.
Moreover, in a true conservative idealist fashion, the cost of recreational drug use is shifted to the drug users themselves, directly recoverable from drug sales taxes- and off the backs of general taxpayers. The self-perpetuating zero-tolerance ‘War on Drugs’ costs billions to taxpayers each year, to absolutely zero effect. Before there was a War on Drugs, 1.3% of any given population was addicted to some drug. 80-odd years of prohibitionist strategy and millions of billions of dollars later- there’s still 1.3% of any given population who are drug addicts.
There’s nothing at all wrong with the Greens’ drug decriminalisation policies. However, community ignorance about the effects of drugs, drug control strategies and drug treatment, caused by about 80 years worth of mis- and disinformation from drug prohibition itself is what allows cockamamie nonsense like Nile’s (and Morris Iemma’s by his failure to come in on the side of evidence based drug policy) to get traction.
Let the free market fix the drug problem- at the drug users’ own expense. Government need only set up the infrastructure and ground rules.
Capitalism rools, OK!
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