Of Drugs and Shit: Ask yourself this: would you look at the fortunes of only lottery winners and conclude that buying a lottery ticket is abnormally profitable?

I stumbled upon an article in Slate that made me think (OK daydream of higher grade pussy), it's about the reality of the drug business today in America as a result of the current enforcement tactics. Think of it this way: have you ever known a rich and retired criminal?

Profits of dealers will look higher than normal because the cost of imprisonment, fines, and bribes is not subtracted. Also, profits of successful dealers who are never caught will be higher than normal, just as profits of lottery winners are higher than normal. Looking only at the profits of dealers who successfully avoid capture, however, and concluding on that basis that the illegal drug business is abnormally profitable is like looking at the fortunes of only lottery winners and concluding that buying a lottery ticket is abnormally profitable.
Go here and follow the links. The story may piss you off, but think about it because what we are doing now ain't working.

1 comment:

cubanbob said...

Howard you cannot prove a negative.
If 500,000 people are in jail for drug crimes it means there are 500,000 assholes doing time. Just exactly how society benefit from legalizing or decriminalizing hard drugs? What are we supposed to tolerate? Over the counter meth or heroin at Walgreen's? FDA approved crack? Seriously every drug user starts at point zero, the first time. And where would they purchase the drug legally the first time? Any kind of restriction would lead to a black market ie; criminal market for the drug. We know the costs of the drug war, but has anyone estimated the cost of giving up the drug war?

How would flooding the country with cheap drugs be a benefit to society? Small as it is, the drug policies do deter to a degree and discourage to a greater degree illegal drug use. How would removing these restraints help society? How many high functioning addicts do you know? Booze is bad enough. Most people drink without getting drunk. Most people can drink without becoming alcoholics.
Drugs on the other hand are consumed for the purpose of getting high. How many times can a person consume heroin or other highly addictive substances and not get addicted? More money needs to be spent on rehabilitation to be sure but that does not translate into spending less on enforcement.