Now maybe legalisation of all drugs isn\’t the right step to take: regular readers will know that my view is that it is but perhaps I\’m wrong.
But similarly, maybe legalisation is the answer. And what we;d really like to do, if anyone or any country is brave enough, is for someone to actually legalise drugs so that we can all find out.
For we don\’t really know the most important things: will legalisation lead to more people taking drugs? Will mass taking of pharmaceutically pure drugs lead to less damage being done overall? Will, as Gary Becker posits, legalisation lead to a reduction in drug taking itself?
However, it\’s not going to happen anytime soon, anywhere:
While some countries have experimented with decriminalisation, not one has proceeded with legalisation – partly because United Nations conventions prohibit states from taking that step.
This is (just one) of the problems with this world government idea. Just as with a planned economy, people cannot experiment as they can in markets, so with a one system of governance people cannot experiment with different legal systems, with different methods of organising parts of the society.
I\’m, along with just about everyone else, happy enough that peeps can\’t go experimenting with slavery but these rules of what can and cannot be done exend far beyond that. To, for example, this drugs thing.
Just as we need markets in matters economic so that we continue to get the economic growth desired, so too do we need markets in systems of governance so that through experimentation we can test new methods of such and, who knows, possibly even get the purblind idiots that rule us to pick up decent ideas that have been tested elsewhere.
No, don\’t laugh, it does happen occasionally. The Swedish school experiment with what are essentially vouchers is being picked up here in the UK as \”free schools\”. The OECD has been able to study taxation systems in different places that manage them in different ways and show that different taxes do indeed have different deadweight costs. We should tax immovable property first, then consumption, then incomes and only last capital and corporations.
It\’s only because Norway has successfully run a huge national oil fund that we now know what to do with the natural resource curse, how do we avoid Dutch Disease?
Unfortunately the world appears to be moving in the other direction. The EU now makes the laws about what is allowable in jams: to the detriment of experimentation in new flavours of jams. The UN runs the drugs laws, to the detriment of experimentation in how we should deal with drugs.
What we really want of course is to devolve power right back down, down to the level of the individual: and then, joy of joys, we get to shoot all the international bureaucrats.