Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The cure is worse than the disease

More evidence that the "drug problem" is primarily caused by banning something that millions of people want. Here's a report on California's move to ban smoking inside its prisons. The interesting fact in the final paragraph: now illicit tobacco sells for the same price on the inside as heroin.

This strongly suggests that the opposite is also true - that without criminalisation of drugs, heroin today would sell for about the same as tobacco. In those circumstances do you imagine that drug running would be the multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise that it is today? one that undermines both the social and political fabric of America and corrupts law enforcement to its core? Do you imagine that the huge proportion of petty crime perpetrated by addicts trying to fund their habits would exist if coke and heroin were as freely available as cigarettes?

The sad thing is that it's not like the United States hasn't gone down this path before. Prohibition of alcohol created organised crime. While the repeal of prohibition couldn't put the genie back in the bottle, what do you imagine America would look like today if it had continued? Something like Somalia or Afghanistan is my guess. A failed state run entirely by drug booze warlords.

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