Archive for January 19th, 2013

Nobel laureate Milton Friedman brilliantly dissects the pros and cons of drug legalization:

The one negative feature of legalizing drugs is that there might be some additional drug addicts. However, the child who is shot in a pass-by shooting is an innocent victim in every respect of the term. But the person who decides to take drugs for himself is not an innocent victim.

If it is in principle okay for the government to say you must not consume drugs because they do you harm, why isn’t it alright for the government to say must not eat too much because it may do you harm? Why isn’t it alright for the government to say you must not go in for skydiving because you might die? Why isn’t it alright to say “Oh skiing, that is no good, that is a very dangerous sport. You’ll hurt yourself”? Where do you draw the line?

One of the most important reasons to legalize drugs, however, is mentioned only very briefly. If you legally buy something from a shop or restaurant you can always sue the owner if the product is of low quality or even harmful. But if you illegally buy drugs, there is no way you can sue the salesperson. And, of course, the salesperson knows and anticipates this problem.

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