Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Why drug legalisation probably won\’t increase drug consumption

13 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. My guess is that it would diminish, as the need to neck as much gear as you can get your hands on before next being nicked for shoplifting and going cold turkey in the cells for 48 hours simply vanishes

  2. Whist I’d agree with your general drift here, I can’t see how you can couple it to the elasticity of demand. OK, demand’s inelastic on the downside, which is proved by the ineffectualness of anti-drug legislation. But on the upside?
    Let’s try an analogous market, prostitution. Like drugs, actually consuming the product isn’t illegal. It’s the supply side that’s illegal. You’re not busted for being high but for possession or dealing. You’re not busted for being a hooker or paying for the service but soliciting both sides of the deal are.
    Here in the UK soliciting’s illegal. If you want to get your ashes hauled, it’s possible but going looking for a service provider’s entering a whole world of aggravation. In this small Sussex town I would have a clue how to start looking for a service provider. Checking, the local paper doesn’t seem to like ‘those sort of ads’ & a net resource gives me one podgy bird. There isn’t apparently the demand. If I went to Brighton, there’s no doubt a bigger field but unless I chanced the street girls I’ve no idea what I’d be buying. Is that a massage that place is offering or a ‘massage’?
    Contrast with back home. Little town I know same size as this, inland, has a club got a range of a couple dozen girls any night of the week & it’s usually busy. Marbella’ s a dozen clubs I’ve heard of. They’re advertising on the autoroute billboards.
    Availability does increase demand. Brits down for the golf, second question they ask after recommended courses is about chicas. Most of those guys would dream about doing that UK side.
    I’m as much in favour of legitimising drug use as you are. Probably more so as I’d guess I might have seen a bit more of the havoc illegality causes. The g/f’s from Medallin for a start. But trying to pretend that legalisation won’t increase drug use is naive. Currently, if you buy drugs you’re buying a package. Included along is the chance to be ripped off, robbed or the opportunity of a holiday at Her Maj’s Pleasure with a side order of loss of employment, criminal record, etc etc. Take the trimming out of the deal & of course the demand will increase.

  3. Matt L
    Care to explain which is which?
    Known lots of people can handle going on & off heroin & coke. Known more who can’t get by without cannabis. Two of the hardest to kick are alcohol & nicotine & they’re legal.

  4. Well there’s a distinction between chemically addictive and behaviourly addictive, plus every person is different. Statistically the drugs of addiction are opiates, nicotine, barbiturates, cocaine, caffeine and alcohol, roughly in that order, although the exact order differs from person to person.

  5. I forgot methamphetamine, which belongs right at the top. Regular amphetamine is pretty safe in that regard though.

  6. Plausible estimates say that alcohol consumption was about 50% higher before and after Prohibition that during it (once the illegal trade had become established).

    Why would the market in drugs currently banned be different?

  7. Two points, PaulB:

    1) the distinction between the number of people participating and the number who ruin themselves thereby. I drink, but I’m not a drunk.

    2) personally, I’d need more than the words “plausible estimates” to override what I think I know about human nature.

  8. has not the consumption of ‘drugs’ legal , prescribed and naughty gone up and up since the 50s?
    If they were legalised there would be both advertising and big pharm pushing for more ‘self freedom’ or whatever it will be called.

  9. EL: yes, I agree, increased consumption does not imply increased harm. By all means legalize anything that’s not inherently more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.

    You can look up the research on prohibition: I think it outweighs your guesswork.

  10. Sorry Paul B but really can’t see how a comparison with alcohol during Prohibition is valid. Prohibition effectively took out all the alcohol consumption by those who drank socially & for the enjoyment of the taste of their brew of choice, leaving those who drank for the high to obtain it illegally if they could.
    No doubt there are a few folk smoking weed because they savour the aromatic perfume but I can’t say I’ve ever met any. Shouldn’t think there’s anyone popping pills because they like the pretty colours or comparing antique hypos.

    One thing it’d be interesting to see, post legalisation, is if an ‘etiquette’ of drug use evolved. By & large it’s social pressure that keeps alcohol use within acceptable bounds. There’s a whole range of approved levels & occasions of consumption depending on circumstance. From the quick beer with lunch up to the pissed stag night. We’ve already got it to an extent. ‘E’s or a few lines of coke at weekends for those who hold down responsible jobs all week. Social dope smoking. To an extent, illegality hampers the formation of an etiquette because use is always ‘wrong’.

  11. There’s a point not mentioned here: what business is it of anyone else what I choose to consume*?

    * so long as I pay for the consequences of doing so, of course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *