by Dish Staff
Gene Callahan suggests giving it a try:
My proposal offers the following advantages over the current situation:
- It allows us to test the waters of just how socially damaging full cocaine or heroin legalization might be, without simply plunging in head first. If simply legalizing coca leaves and opium produces droves of drugged-out zombies (which I don’t think it would), we could rule out full cocaine and heroin legalization, and even consider repealing this halfway legalization. If the effects are that bad, we can be sure that they would have been worse if we had legalized the harder forms of these drugs.
- A strong libertarian argument for full legalization (I say ”strong,” and not “decisive,” because I think there are significant counter-arguments here), is that many people are able to use these drugs in moderation without destroying their lives. … Well, these moderate, responsible users ought to find a milder, safer, and legal form of the drug they use to be a very welcome thing indeed. They could avoid the risk of arrest, of unregulated and adulterated street products that may contain dangerous additives, of job loss, and would enjoy a much greater ability to control their dosage.
- The considerations in point number two indicate what I think would be the greatest potential upside of this idea: its impact upon the economics of the trade in hard drugs. The shift in consumption predicted above would greatly lessen the demand for the more dangerous forms of these drugs.
In other opioid news, Olga Khazan examines a study finding that “the 13 states that had legalized medical marijuana prior to 2010 had a 25 percent lower rate of opioid mortality than those that didn’t”: