Drug Price and Violence

The other side of all this, which I’m surprised the article doesn’t mention, is that lower costs mean that addicts find it easier to pay for their habit. They’re less likely to resort to theft and mugging, and so on. It’s also noteworthy that crack probably only emerged as a way to get more “bang for the buck” out of cocaine while trafficking was harder.

Here’s an interesting question for proponents of the drug war: assuming that demand for drugs remains stable, what do you suppose will happen if you reduce the supply of drugs? Answer: the price will rise.Here’s another interesting question: if violence increases directly with rising drug prices, what will happen when the prolonged war on drugs succeeds in reducing supply without reducing demand? Answer: violence will increase.

It’s easy to say that drug use is immoral, and it’s easy to say that drugs have negative effects on society. However, knowing that the drug war is going to ratchet up the violence, and impose significant negative externalities on society, is it really so rational to say that the drug war is worth it?

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