Saturday, 12 January 2008

Couldn't say it better myself

TimWorstall's blog quotes Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman as follows. Couldn't say it better myself:

"You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve.
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. Illegality 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.

Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages."

See also my earlier post


skotgerman said...

My crystal ball says that the year drugs are legalized in the US, about 100,000 thousand addicts will die of overdose, eliminating a large population of undesirables.

After that, drug problems and alcohol problems will become one, with a total population not much greater than the current population of alcoholics.

SAVANT said...

That is PRECISELY the point. 'Drugs' are simply a 'worse version of alcahol. People will get them if they want them and people must be responsible for their own actions.

Anonymous said...

It's the only way to go, but there has to be an international, or at least European approach.

kerdasi amaq said...

Having seen what the repeal of Prohibition did to the bootlegging trade, the criminals who run the drugs trade won't allow it to happen again. So they must be buying off the politicians to ensure that it is kept illegal?