By Mark D. Friedman
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Extra resources for The Legalization of Drugs
A 2008 study by the Beckley Foundation, a non-profit organization in the UK that seeks to change global drug policies, estimated that for cocaine to travel from the farm where coca plants are harvested in South America to a London street where the drug is sold, it would change hands at least five times. Each time, the price would rise dramatically. This means that from the farm to the customer, the cost of the cocaine increases by an incredible 993 per cent! If cocaine were legal, there would not be such a long and expensive route to market.
The new laws allowed cafes to sell a small amount (up to 5 grams) of marijuana. This meant that Dutch cities, such as Amsterdam, became the only places in the world where it was legal for an adult to walk into a business and legally purchase drugs that were banned everywhere else. What were the results? Among the Dutch population, the use of some drugs appears to have increased slightly. 5 per cent. The number of people who used hard drugs increased by smaller margins or not at all. Critics of drug legalization will point to these statistics as proof that legalizing drugs will lead to an increase in drug use.
If we wish to eat only vegetables and no meats, that is our right. If we wish to train our bodies to be athletes, that is our right. These choices may seem like healthy ones. But whether the choice is good doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you have the right to choose. What you do with the right is up to you. Yes, you do have the right to make stupid choices, just as long as your stupidity does not trample anyone else’s life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. We will soon look at the other side of this argument.
The Legalization of Drugs by Mark D. Friedman