Blair Mulholland thinks that legalising P is a good idea.
What would happen if we legalised P? Would more people try it? Possibly. Would more people become addicted to it? Maybe. How many? Probably not many. … 99% would try it once for the novelty value, stay awake for the next two days, and that would be it.
So lets assume that we legalise P, and, despite the complete lack of logical sense it makes, all our worst fears are realised – “meth dens” are set up all over the country and it becomes the recreational drug of choice for the masses. Even then, would we get the same level, or greater, of crime as we see now, while the drug is illegal? Of course not. If you can pay five bucks for a hit, the motive to rob a bank, the motive to set up your own lab and blow yourself up, the motive to shoot undercover cops and liquor store owners all disappears. You’d still get people going crazy from staying awake for a week and you wouldn’t stop tragedies like the death of Coral Burrows, but would those problems increase enough so as to make prohibition a viable preventative step over and above what we know the fruits of prohibition to be? The answer is an emphatic no.
There’s one problem with this. Pure methamphetamine is so addictive that people would most emphatically not stop after the first try. They’d try it again. All I have heard (and I even had a neighbor who was previously addicted to it) is that this drug captures you the first, or at most second time you use it and then that’s it – you’re addicted and it’s incredibly hard to get out. So if only 25% of the population try it, that’s at least 20% who are going to be addicted.
What happens then? Addicts are able to purchase it for $5, so their money would last longer – assuming that they didn’t just ramp up their addiction instead. So a year or two down the track they’ve lost everything. What do they do then?
Well, my bet would be that the portion of the population who would be addicted by that stage would start stealing. Sure, you don’t need to rob a bank to get $5. You can just purse snatch for that, or smash someone’s window or whatever. Trivial stuff.
Except that every time my window gets smashed for the sake of $5, the cost to me or my insurance company is more like $100 or more. Who pays for that? Why, I do and the jolly taxpayer who has to foot the bill for increased police to fight petty crime and people “going crazy”.
So I end up paying at least twice for some libertarian’s “victimless crime”. I’ll pass, thanks.
Now, it could well be that these people are able to maintain jobs, or stay on the dole. But this drug affects the ability to perform various tasks, meaning that non-drug takers have to make up for the lesser performance of their drug taking colleagues (assuming office work, those working outside or on machinery are at risk of injury or death), or through their taxes. Wait, aren’t taxes supposed to be abolished in a libertarian society?
Yep, I’ll pass on the cheap P. No thanks.
Come to think of it, didn’t the gangs declare war on this drug some time back? So criminal gangs have banded it, why do liberterians still think it’s ok?