Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Motley Crue Can Teach Us About Drug Legalization - Vedran Vuk - Mises Institute

Excellent presentation of an alternate perspective on drug legalization.

Take a look at Motley Crue again. Despite achieving affordability and legal immunity, the band still decided to stop pursuing this dead-end lifestyle. Drugs cause an assortment of interpersonal issues from health problems to broken friendships and wrecked families. Even if drugs were free, the personal cost of doing drugs would always be high. Even without legal consequences or the high prices, drug use of Motley Crue's caliber would still be rare and an extreme case.

It is not an accident that college students, with plenty of time on their hands, have a reputation for heavy drinking and drug use. Students don't mysteriously mature from age 22 to 23 and stop drinking. They get jobs, which increases their time cost of drugs and alcohol and leads to lower usage.

Other groups associated with high rates of drug abuse have a similar profile: lots of time and few responsibilities

Smoking weed has the lowest time cost of all the drugs. In fact, the time cost is lower than alcohol. An individual can smoke a joint and be sober in an hour. I've yet to see the drunk who can do the same. Further, one cannot binge for days on marijuana as is possible with crack cocaine and other substances with low durations.

Without the legal system ruining the lives of nonviolent drug users, there will be a light at the end of the dark tunnel known as drug addiction. Not all problems will disappear. Drugs will continue to wreck lives, just as alcohol dependency has been doing for centuries. But one day, hopefully, drug addiction will be treated by doctors, friends, family, and church — not prison bars and an aggressive police state. Drug addicts will be allowed to peacefully readjust to society, becoming productive members without the scars of the penal system. They will have a chance to recover and to rock on, just like Motley Crue.

What Motley Crue Can Teach Us About Drug Legalization - Vedran Vuk - Mises Institute

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