Whether an underground market would have little

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whether an “underground market [would] have little economic incentive to disappear” or if it would create a “huge smuggling problem” at our northern border that would demand “international cooperation” (Mineta). Wilson’s second step indicates that the quality-price would also be lower. He points out that illegal drugs are currently purchased from people who guarantee “no meaningful promise of quality” (Wilson) stating that you can buy a powdered substance such as cocaine or heroin which “has been cut 20 times and [is] cut with sugar or rat poison” (Wilson). David Mineta asserts that, like the evidence seen in alcohol and tobacco sales, when the price of illegal drugs is decreased the production demand conversely increases, which he highlights statistically “10 percent drop in [cigarette] price yields a 7 to 8 increase in demand” (Mineta). Per James Wilson, the third and final factor equating price to consumption is the search price, which he states, “under legalization…would be zero” (Wilson). This may be true; however, legalization and decriminalization are two altogether separate entities. The risk, he writes “of being mugged or arrested” (Wilson) disappears, as some substances can be purchased at a dispensary or pharmacy, and those that can’t, will be sold safely by “some drug dealer operating in the open” (Wilson). David Mineta adds that “Legal drugs are cheap and easy to obtain” and imagines that this inexpensive consumer product will lead to high profits which will “make the addiction business
Volpe 9 lucrative” (Mineta). This statement runs contrary, however, to his earlier assertion that the cost of alcohol and tobacco far exceeds the profits. Wilson boasts that, with the decrease in cash cost, quality cost, and search cost, the “total price reduction would…[be] a factor of 50” causing consumption to “go up dramatically” (Wilson). Both James Wilson and David Mineta are hindered by their use of statistics, as they are outdated and irrelevant. Mentioning Colorado would certainly have been advantageous, unless, however, there is no evidence to support the anti-decriminalization stance. There is also an obvious and important distinction between decriminalization and legalization, and you can’t argue one properly by constantly using examples of the other. Both writer’s views on anti- decriminalization are clearly stated and readily digestible, however, they lack any substantial evidence and are merely unsupported hypotheses and conjecture. Contrary to the speculation of Wilson and Mineta and others of similar belief, there is evidence of decriminalization’s benefits from countries that have ended drug wars years ago, such as Portugal, who decriminalized all drugs back in 2000. The money that was formerly used to arrest, convict, and imprison drug users is now used to treat and educate them and help them reconnect with society and their communities. Per the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs

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