Timmy Elsewhere

At the ASI.

Legalising and taxing drugs would rather help in these straightened times, no?

10 thoughts on “Timmy Elsewhere”

  1. Legalisation and the subsequent competition amongst legitimate suppliers would lower prices (even with the high tax rates we’d impose) and

    I thought the failure of the so-called War on Drugs was measured by how cheap drugs are to buy, indicating that our efforts to interdict supply have been largely unsuccessful. Is the street price of drugs really so high that the efficiencies of legalisation will result in them being much cheaper, even after the level of duties we currently apply to tobacco are added?

    thus reduce the crime associated with addicts looking for the money with which to score.

    Prisons could be filled with real criminals rather than those only damaging themselves

    How many people are sent to jail solely for possessing illegal drugs? The majority of drug users in prison are there either for dealing or for theft, muggings, etc., i.e. they are real criminals.

  2. it is illegal to get prescription drugs with out a prescription(at least in the US)..
    how much of the above would be true if you replaced “illegal drugs” with the term “prescription drugs”??

  3. “Is the street price of drugs really so high that the efficiencies of legalisation will result in them being much cheaper, even after the level of duties we currently apply to tobacco are added?”

    Probably yes. Because a lot of the cost is to pay people enough to compensate for the risk they undergo in dealing with drugs.

    “The majority of drug users in prison are there either for dealing or for theft, muggings, etc., i.e. they are real criminals. ”

    Do you have figures on this? Or is this a guess?

  4. “The majority of drug users in prison are there either for dealing”

    And for that matter how is dealing a “real” crime. It involves a voluntary transaction between two individuals. None of my, or your business surely.

  5. Probably yes. Because a lot of the cost is to pay people enough to compensate for the risk they undergo in dealing with drugs.

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of that risk is due to the police, and what is due to the dangers posed by the competition!

    I’d also note that due to the high duties in the UK, there is criminal activity in illegally imported alcohol and tobacco (Counterfeit goods as well, but that is a separate issue).

    Do you have figures on this? Or is this a guess?

    Just a guess, based upon pressure not to add to overcrowded prisons and how many real criminals seem to escape custodial sentences these days.

    And for that matter how is dealing a “real” crime.

    Fair point – for the sake of a debate about legalising, then dealing would not be considered a “real” crime. Still leaves the muggers, thieves etc (who just happen to be drug addicts) as real criminals who rightly deserve to be in prison. It would be nice if, once released after serving their sentence, they were also made to actually pay for the cost of their crime.

    It involves a voluntary transaction between two individuals. None of my, or your business surely.

    Nice general principle, but there are exceptions where others may be harmed by the transaction occurring. A different example: assuming we will have an minimum age limit for the newly legalised drugs, then selling to those under it would still be our business.

  6. “It would be nice if, once released after serving their sentence, they were also made to actually pay for the cost of their crime.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    “assuming we will have an minimum age limit for the newly legalised drugs, then selling to those under it would still be our business.”
    I have no problem with drugs being treated in the same way as alcohol and booze. Children are children and should be protected. Adults are NOT children, and the state has no business treating as if they were.

    “Just a guess, based upon pressure not to add to overcrowded prisons and how many real criminals seem to escape custodial sentences these days.”

    Fair point. And I hope you are right. I WANT muggers and thieves in jail. But not people who merely deal or imbibe.

  7. I worked out the maths of this in comments here a couple of years ago: based on current medical diamorphine (= heroin) prices paid to pharmaceutical distributors for the few diamorphine prescriptions that are written, street price is 20-100x higher than the legitimate price.

    Any pharmaceutical drug (so in terms of ones which are used here in any quantity, heroin cocaine and MDMA) will be massively cheaper on the legal market, in the same way. Obviously, that will cut crime-to-buy-drugs, which encompasses the vast majority of heroin-related crime and a decent part of cocaine-related crime (there is no MDMA-related crime, apart from DUIs).

  8. I would like to think we could put the dealers out of business by undercutting them. So I would be in favour of legalisation, plus a degree of taxation to cover the costs of controlling the purity of the product, and restricting sale to adults only.

    But the crooks won’t give up without a fight. They never do. The only market left for them to capture, would be the children. And there are plenty of dealers who have children of their own, that they could use to sell stuff to the other kids.

  9. I’m not sure your fears re drugs to kids would be realized Monty. Without the high profit margins that result from the illicit nature of drugs, the incentive to risk arrest and jail would not be there. I don’t see this being anymore of a widespread danger than off license owners sending their kids into school to sell booze to little ‘uns.

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