Sunday, January 5, 2014

How the Drug War Makes Drugs Less Safe

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute

The common arguments for heroin prohibition, on the other hand, involve little more than reference to a list of symptoms which occur with reckless or prolonged use: it kills people, it destroys families, it squanders money, it makes addicts act, often violently, with desperation, etc. But it is precisely for these very reasons that it ought to be completely legalized.

Unlike users of prescription drugs, users of illegal drugs such as heroin are necessarily ignorant of where it has been produced, the extent of its purity — such as whether or not the drug is heroin, krokodil, or a combination — and of its potency and health risks. On the other hand, the consumer benefits of drug legitimacy are enormous. When drugs are legal on the open market there is recourse to a court of law should the drugs prove to be unsafe. In a legal drug environment, there is no fear of the law turning against anyone for admitting prior use of illegal drugs. Such legitimacy is lacking when purchasing illegal drugs on the black market, where there are no paper trails, no guarantees, no refunds, and no manuals, not to mention no doctors involved.

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