2-22-11 - Drug Legalization Friedman An Open Letter… •...

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Unformatted text preview: 2-22-11 Drug Legalization Friedman, An Open Letter… • Criminalization creates more harm than good • The drug war cannot be won without sacrificing liberty and freedom • Illegality is the source of many of the harms of drug use The Drug War Isn’t Working – What should we do? • Bennett and others advocate more police, more jails, increased use of military operations in foreign countries, and harsher penalties for users • Even if these actions would work, what are the costs of these actions? Does Decriminalization Mean that Drugs are Good? • No – we can decriminalize drug use, regulate and tax drugs without admitting that drug use is good • Compare this to alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and other “sins” • Why not allow individuals to decide whether or not to use these substances Illegality Creates Harm • Illegality requires that demand be met through repressed and illegal channels • It creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of drug lords • It leads to the corruption of law enforcement • It creates an optimum environment for narco-terrorism Legalization Would Reduce Harm • It would free up law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes • It would make the invention of cheaper, more harmful drugs unnecessary • It would reduce the prison population • It would cause a decrease in crime Bennett, Response to Friedman • It is true that the war on drugs is costly, but the costs are worth it • Drug use is wrong and the government has a responsibility to create laws that educate citizens about what is right and wrong About the Costs… • The legalization arguments is based on the claim that fighting a war on drugs is too costly, but the costs of not fighting the war are higher o Increased number of users and addicts o Lost of productivity o Rising health costs o Increased number of overdoses, accidents, and premature deaths ...
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