Thursday, June 21, 2012

Like Any War, Drug Prohibition Kills



HT: Warren Smith

54 Comments:

At 6/21/2012 7:32 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I am always surprised when we call something a "war" (war on drugs, war on terror, war on poverty), and then there is surprise when blood is shed.

 
At 6/21/2012 8:25 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

An epidemic also kills. We've seen how decriminalization of marijuana led to a sharp increase in marijuana use.

Examining the Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Marijuana Consumption
Insights from the Economics Literature

"From this review it is clear that total consumption will rise in response to legalization due to increases in the number of new users, increases in the number of regular and heavy users, and probable increases in the duration in which marijuana is consumed for average users."

 
At 6/21/2012 8:44 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Right. Just as the legalization of alcohol led to more alcohol users. No surprise there.

The question then becomes "Do we want to legalize its use?"

Avoiding the conversation we had the other day (which will get us nowhere, I am sure), the broader topic to debate is "should we criminalize something just because it has undeseriable effects?"

 
At 6/21/2012 8:46 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

And, if we decide "Yes, we do want to criminalize it because it has undeseriable effects", do the costs of legalization ouweight the benefits?

 
At 6/21/2012 9:11 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, just the decriminalization of marijuana increased the costs substantially.

Moreover, there are hidden costs, including for high school and college students:

Marijuana Use Can Threaten Teen's Academic Success
Mar 15 2007

Some factions of society still try to perpetrate the myth that marijuana is nothing nore than a harmless and misunderstood drug no more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes.

The bottom line is that marijuana and other illegal drugs have real and proven negative effects on teen academic performance.

Marijuana and underage drinking are linked to higher dropout rates. Students who drink or use drugs frequently are up to five times more likely than their peers to drop out of high school. A teenage marijuana user's odds of dropping out are more than twice that of a non-user.

"In fact, studies show that heavy marijuana use impairs a teen's ability to concentrate and retain information. And this is especially problematic during these peak learning and testing years" said Larry S. Fields, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. and President of the American Academy of Family Physicians."

 
At 6/21/2012 9:33 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Angela Dills = reality virgin...

Factually I'm sure she's spot on from an economics point of view though...

 
At 6/21/2012 9:33 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Avoiding the conversation we had the other day (which will get us nowhere, I am sure), the broader topic to debate is "should we criminalize something just because it has undeseriable effects?"

What moral foundation would you have to use force to prevent people from choosing to live in a way that you may think is undesirable? And do those people have the right to limit your 'undesirable' actions? After all, why would you need to use as much gasoline as you do, or eat as much as you do? Do you really need to waste so many resources by living in such a large house? Or going on a cruise?

See where we get to when we try to justify what cannot be justified on moral grounds?

 
At 6/21/2012 9:36 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Moreover, there are hidden costs, including for high school and college students:...

There are hidden costs to eating too much, buying too many frivolous things, going to a college and taking useless courses, etc., etc., etc. What gives the authoritarians the right to regulate such activity? And if they argue that they have the right to limit voluntary activity what happens when a majority on the left argues that your economic activities have hidden costs and want to regulate the crap out of voluntary transactions? On what basis can you argue that you should be free from such meddling?

 
At 6/21/2012 9:37 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Illegal Drug Use on the Rise in U.S.
Sept. 8, 2011

The use of illicit drugs and the nonmedical use of prescription medications is increasing, and this is largely driven by an increased rate of marijuana use, a survey shows.

There were also some glimmers of hope seen in the new survey.

Rates of nonmedical use of prescription drugs, hallucinogens, and inhalants are around the same as in 2009.

Cocaine use also declined, from 2.4 million current users in 2006 to 1.5 million in 2010.

The number of current methamphetamine users decreased by roughly half from 2006 to 2010.

Fewer 12- to 17-year-olds drank alcohol and used tobacco.

"We really need to figure out this marijuana problem and understand how to help people not use and/or delay starting to use marijuana."

Stratyner is concerned that medical marijuana or the legal use of marijuana to treat certain medical or pain-related conditions may further fuel increases in the use of marijuana -- especially among young people.

"The message we are sending to youth is that medicalized marijuana is safe." (says Harris Stratyner, PhD, the clinical regional vice president of Caron Treatment Centers).

 
At 6/21/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Aiken_Bob said...

The virtues of being successful. I wonder if this kinda of thinking was even possible 200 years ago in the USA when getting enough food to survive was the #1 priority. Getting enough food is still the #1 priority for the third world. But we can ponder the pros and cons of how to or not to control others. I have a feeling that we are getting untied from reality and will have some really bad consequences down the road.

 
At 6/21/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Aiken_Bob said...

The virtues of being successful. I wonder if this kinda of thinking was even possible 200 years ago in the USA when getting enough food to survive was the #1 priority. Getting enough food is still the #1 priority for the third world. But we can ponder the pros and cons of how to or not to control others. I have a feeling that we are getting untied from reality and will have some really bad consequences down the road.

 
At 6/21/2012 10:00 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Legalization Won’t Kill the Cartels
New York Times
June 18, 2011

"For a growing number of American policy makers, politicians and activists, the best answer to the spiraling violence in Mexico is to legalize the marijuana that, they argue, fuels the country’s vicious cartels and smugglers.

Legalization would move that trade into the open market, driving down the price...there’s no reason the cartels couldn’t enter the legal market for the sale of marijuana, as organized crime groups did in the United States after the repeal of Prohibition.

Marijuana makes up 60 percent of the cartels’ profits, that still leaves another 40 percent, which includes the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine, and brown-powder and black-tar heroin.

Cartels derive a growing slice of their income from other illegal activities. Some experts on organized crime in Latin America, like Edgardo Buscaglia, say that cartels earn just half their income from drugs.

Indeed, in recent years cartels have used an extensive portfolio of rackets and scams to diversify their income.

For example, they used to kidnap rivals, informants and incompetent subordinates to punish, exact revenge or send a message.

Now that they have seen that people are willing to pay heavy ransoms, kidnapping has become their second-most-lucrative venture, with the targets ranging from businessmen to migrants.

Another new source of cartel revenue is oil theft, long a problem for the Mexican government. The national oil company, Pemex, loses hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of petroleum every year to bandits and criminal gangs who tap into pipelines and siphon it off.

Cartels are also moving into the market in pirated goods in Latin America. The market used to be dominated by terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Cartels are also moving into extortion. A cartel representative will approach the owner of a business — whether a pharmacy or a taco stand — demanding a monthly stipend for “protection.” If those payments aren’t made on time, the business is often burned to the ground, or the owner is threatened, kidnapped or killed.

A popular cartel racket involves branded products. For example, a cartel member will tell a music-store owner that he has to sell CDs with the Zetas logo stamped on them, with the cartel taking a 25 percent cut of the profits. Noncompliance isn’t an option."

 
At 6/21/2012 10:05 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Legalization would move that trade into the open market, driving down the price...there’s no reason the cartels couldn’t enter the legal market for the sale of marijuana, as organized crime groups did in the United States after the repeal of Prohibition.

That is exactly right. But what legalization would do is force cartels to operate within the bounds of the law. They can't threaten local businesses, kill and steal product, etc. Cartels thrive on the limited supply and their dominance over it. By breaking that spell and opening them up to competition, the power of a cartel will greatly diminish where there is rule of law, as well as their control over the market. They will fade away (or expand into other illegal activities), just as the mafia did in alcohol and, in some cases, gambling.

 
At 6/21/2012 10:07 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I understand everything you are saying, Peak, and they are legitimate concerns of drugs. But let me ask you this: are the costs of the drug prohibition (enforcement costs, prison costs, gangland violence, cop deaths) worth the benefits of making drugs, in theory, harder to get?

 
At 6/21/2012 10:20 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, the social costs of illegal drugs are many times higher than the costs of enforcing illegal drug laws.

It's like pollution. It makes economic sense to spend $1 to reduce and prevent $5 of pollution.

 
At 6/21/2012 10:33 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I agree with your last sentence, but not with your first. I am not convinced the billions spent on enforcement and punishment, plus the uncountable loss of life, is less than the societal benefits. Of course, this is were value judgments come in.

 
At 6/21/2012 10:59 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

you keep trying to frame this as a paternalistic "public welfare" argument.

that is not the issue. the issue is one of liberty and rights.

do you support the soda ban in manhattan? it's the exact same logic as the one you try to use for the drug war. "you, poor benighted citizen, are too stupid and immature to make your on choices, so i will force you to do it my way for your own good".

you keep ducking this simple question: so long as one chose to use drugs on private property and does not violate the rights of another while doing so, what business is it of the government's?

would you let them mandate lower fat dinners for you? less booze?

banning something because i might misuse it could be an argument for banning kitchen knives.

banning something because it is not good for me is an argument to ban soda and birthday cakes.

you seem to be making a jump straight from "individual harm" to public policy and assuming that the later is justified to promote the former.

in a free society, a citizen, possessed of liberty ought to be able to make his own cost/benefit decisions, not have your forced upon him though government. if he violates another's right while so doing, well, that gets treated like any other crime, but to ban liberty outright to prevent what might happen (even leaving aside that such a ban causes more crime that it stops) is a minority report type of argument and punishes the innocent and takes away their liberty to try to get at those who are presumed would be guilty.

what ever happened to the presumption of innocence and individual liberty?

this is not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom and the presumption of innocence.

it's not even clear that federal drug laws are constitutional.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

so long as the transactions do not cross state lines, damned if i can find the authority to tell me what drugs i can and cannot take in the elucidated powers.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:04 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, that's because you're not aware of the total social costs caused by the behavior of illegal drug users.

Also, I may add, there are private benefits and private costs. However, drug addicts face rising private costs, over time, just to maintain private benefits.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:07 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Legalizing pollution will not make pollution go away.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, you seem to believe all drugs should be legal.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:15 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Jon, the social costs of illegal drugs are many times higher than the costs of enforcing illegal drug laws."

and your evidence for that is what?

sounds like a pure opinion to me.

i suspect that the costs would drop. that's what happened with decriminalization in portugal.

but still, that misses the main point:

in a society of free individuals, we should all be able to make our own cost benefit choices. this choice should be spread out at the individual level, just like diet, exercise, or whatever else.

pollution is not a good analog at it violates rights.

if my factory dumps soot on your land or puts mercury in your water, i have harmed you and you property.

if i take extacy and go dance with some friends, that does not harm you in any way, so there is nothing to remediate.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:18 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

also:

those surveys do not measure drug use.

they measure the number of people that admit to drug use.

not the same thing AT ALL.

nastier enforcement will have a greater effect on what you tell strangers than on your behavior. ask anyone from the former soviet union. polls said no one used the black market, but EVERYONE did.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:20 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, the U.S. is not Portugal. It's more like California.

Also, social costs include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:24 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

you keep making these outlandish generalizations. the us is like california? since when? iowa is like LA? really?

further, you keep ducking the real issue:

why is this any of the government's business and more than your choosing to drink alcohol or eat fried food is? (and note that they recognized that they needed a constitutional amendment for that, but just passed these laws without one.)

 
At 6/21/2012 11:26 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

Most drugs were legal till about the middle of the 20th century (Nixon was our first president drug warrior). Are you really arguing that "lost productivity , traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services", after adjusting for population and economic growth, were all worse before than as compared to now because drugs were legal?

 
At 6/21/2012 11:27 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"Morganovich, you seem to believe all drugs should be legal."

that is exactly what i believe.

it is an individual choice, just like drinking beer, smoking, eating fried food, or getting a tattoo. such choices are no business of the governments.

drugs were legal for far more of us history than they have been banned. it did not doom us.

what business is this of the government's?

 
At 6/21/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ken, DEA History Book, 1970 - 1975

"Prior to the 1960s, Americans did not see drug use as acceptable behavior, nor did they believe that drug use was an inevitable fact of life. Indeed, tolerance of drug use resulted in terrible increases in crime between the 1960s and the early 1990s, and the landscape of America has been altered forever.

By the early 1970s, drug use had not yet reached its all-time peak, but the problem was sufficiently serious to warrant a serious response. Consequently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was created in 1973 to deal with America's growing drug problem."

 
At 6/21/2012 11:34 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

to amplify ken's point,

"Also, social costs include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services."

oh, and we don't have those now?

the WoD stopped all that did it?

if that is your argument, then i presume you support a return to a ban on alcohol? it cause more of the above than all other drugs combined and an obesity issue to boot.

if not, then where is the consistency of your argument?

finally, legalizing drugs would reduce the cost to you. they would be taxed, and that could be used for treatment and education programs. just the savings on incarceration would pay for all the rehab the us needed leaving piles of cash left over. let's let the users pay. right now, i pay for junkie rehab an imprisonment. let's let them pay for themselves through use taxes.

your arguments here are almost all self refuting and i have not yet heard a single one to justify why this is any of the state's business.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:35 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

this:

"Marijuana Use Can Threaten Teen's Academic Success
Mar 15 2007"

is the worst of your arguments. want to get drugs away from teens, legalize them. it's easy to buy pot when you are 16 but very hard to buy beer. illegal deals do not card.

but again, all these arguments are moot until you come up with a valid reason that this is any of the state's business.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:37 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, if you don't believe in laws, just say so. Then you can do whatever you want.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:38 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

You cite the DEA handbook? Really? Ha! As we all know, the DEA has absolutely no reason to exaggerate the effects and magnitude of drug use, right? And there isn't a mountain of evidence that the DEA shamelessly perverts statistics and cherry picks data, right?

 
At 6/21/2012 11:40 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"Prior to the 1960s, Americans did not see drug use as acceptable behavior, nor did they believe that drug use was an inevitable fact of life. Indeed, tolerance of drug use resulted in terrible increases in crime between the 1960s and the early 1990s, and the landscape of America has been altered forever. "

that's just self justifying distortions.

opiates were big in the 1800's. so was cocaine. hell, it was in soda.

that's just flat out telling it like it ain't.

so, when are you going to tell us why this is any of the government's business?

still waiting.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

if you don't believe in laws, just say so.

Is this serious? If we all lived in the late 1800's and we were railing against Jim Crow, while you were citing statistic after official statistics generated by southern democrats about how Jim Crow was absolutely necessary, would you really say that someone didn't "believe in laws" because that person spoke out against a particularly nasty and cruel set of laws?

Get out the hay field and stop constructing straw men.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:43 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, why don't you and those very active drug propagandists take it to the Surpreme Court?

 
At 6/21/2012 11:47 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"Morganovich, if you don't believe in laws, just say so. Then you can do whatever you want."

that's pure illogic and fallacy.

you know full well that is nothing at all like what i said. saying that a law is a bad law, unjust, and probably unconstitutional is not a repudiation of all law.

if you are not capable of logical thought or of defending your position on the merits, just say so.

alternately, please explain your reasoning behind this being any of the government's business?

you silence on that is deafening.

you have not answered ANY of the key questions here on that issue. until you can, no amount of "social good" argument is even relevant.

shall we silence speech for the social good? shall we ban friend food and big sodas? shall be ban dangerous hobbies like skydiving or hang gliding?

your views here seem as inconsistent as they are reactionary.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:51 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"But what legalization would do is force cartels to operate within the bounds of the law"...

No jon murphy it won't force the cartels to do anything...

Speaking of which check out these Mad Max like vehicles put together by the drug cartels...

 
At 6/21/2012 12:28 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Morganovich, why don't you and those very active drug propagandists take it to the Surpreme Court?"

translation:

i have no argument and am resorting to cheap rhetoric to hide the fact that i cannot defend my inconsistent and self contradictory beliefs or defend them on first principles.

states are making moves in this direction. it will wind up at the supreme court.

but your comment says nothing at all. you try to hide behind the fact that something that has not happened yet and use it to justify the staus quo.

read ken's point about straw men here.

you seem desperate to shift this debate to anyhting other than the key issue: what business is this of the government's?

are you arguing that they ought to be able to pass whatever laws they view as desirable regardless of the effects on our liberty so long as they thing it is for our own good?

do you want to give up that choice and delegate it to them?

how is that not paternalistic totalitarianism?

 
At 6/21/2012 12:58 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

"No jon murphy it won't force the cartels to do anything..."

force, perhaps not, but induce or even require, yes.

if drug cultivation, creation, processing, transport, distribution, and sales were all legal, the profit margins would drop and look like any other agricultural or otc pharmaceutical business. margins would look like those on whiskey and cigarettes.

this would take most of the profit out of it. cartel would be no more interested than they are in smuggling soy paste or gin.

it would also eliminate the need for armed cartels. if you could go to the police over thefts or fraud and use courts and the BBB to enforce quality and promise keeping, then all the thugs with guns become unneeded too. you don't see armed posses at keg deliveries and you do not need a gun to get a restaurant to take the wine back if the bottle is bad.

it would do better than force them.

it would make their existence unneeded and uneconomic by allowing a free market.

 
At 6/21/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The virtues of being successful. I wonder if this kinda of thinking was even possible 200 years ago in the USA when getting enough food to survive was the #1 priority. Getting enough food is still the #1 priority for the third world. But we can ponder the pros and cons of how to or not to control others. I have a feeling that we are getting untied from reality and will have some really bad consequences down the road.

Is that what you thik; that worrying about liberty is not important to our reality? Or did I misinterpret what you wrote?

 
At 6/21/2012 1:33 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Legalization would move that trade into the open market, driving down the price...there’s no reason the cartels couldn’t enter the legal market for the sale of marijuana, as organized crime groups did in the United States after the repeal of Prohibition.

Sure they could try and compete with others for the falling margins. And if the cartels are good at growing crops and processing products in ways that customers want they might be successful. But no matter what happens they won't be trying to kill each other for a 10% return. The organized crime groups in the US after Prohibition certainly didn't.

Essentially people get safer and better product at a higher cost. Former criminals have to figure out how to make an honest living in a competitive market. Governments get to save a lot of money that was being spent on a corrupt and violent war and to add a new source of tax revenue that helps pay the bills.

So what exactly is your point?

 
At 6/21/2012 1:38 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Jon, the social costs of illegal drugs are many times higher than the costs of enforcing illegal drug laws.

First, that is not true. The drug war has killed many more innocent people than drug use. Actually, it has done nothing to discourage drug use and you can find drugs everywhere. Hell, the idiots who are waging the drug war can't even figure out how to keep them out of prisons.

Second, you still cannot justify violating the rights of individuals when you prevent them from drinking alcohol, taking drugs, paying for sex, or whatever else you are trying to prevent. As I pointed out above, once the moral high ground is conceded and you allow the majority to trample on the rights of the minority you have little argument when you become a part of a minority and some majority passes laws to regulate your life.

 
At 6/21/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Morganovich, you seem to believe all drugs should be legal.

That is what you come up with. Let me remind you of the points being made against you.

"do you support the soda ban in manhattan? it's the exact same logic as the one you try to use for the drug war. "you, poor benighted citizen, are too stupid and immature to make your on choices, so i will force you to do it my way for your own good".

Surely you can answer this point. You use the same argument that Bloomberg makes. Do you really think that people are too stupid to look after themselves or that because some might be all have to lose their liberty?

"you keep ducking this simple question: so long as one chose to use drugs on private property and does not violate the rights of another while doing so, what business is it of the government's?"

This seems to be a good argument too. Why are you avoiding it? In fact why is it that you can only come up with general statements and opinion? Are you afraid to deal in specifics and in real facts?

I see this as a moral argument that deals with individual rights. You seem to argue that there are no such things as individual rights and that we need to be more concerned with some imagined utilitarian scenarios that don't even pass the utilitarian threshold if the facts are to be examined clearly.

 
At 6/21/2012 1:50 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Morganovich, if you don't believe in laws, just say so. Then you can do whatever you want.

You are running from the actual argument again and resorting to generalities. Does this mean that you have figured out just how lame your logic is?

 
At 6/21/2012 1:54 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Is this serious? If we all lived in the late 1800's and we were railing against Jim Crow, while you were citing statistic after official statistics generated by southern democrats about how Jim Crow was absolutely necessary, would you really say that someone didn't "believe in laws" because that person spoke out against a particularly nasty and cruel set of laws?

Get out the hay field and stop constructing straw men.


He is serious. For him there are no rights; there are only laws and if those laws are followed you are not guilty of anything, no matter how immoral the position is. Those innocent victims who are shot by police in botched raids have no recourse because the police were only doing their job. Those kids who got ten years for possession deserve it. (Never mind that the last three people who were in the Oval Office all had problems with drugs and alcohol.) Our friend puts the law above morality and principle.

 
At 6/21/2012 1:57 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak: "An epidemic also kills. We've seen how decriminalization of marijuana led to a sharp increase in marijuana use."

Have we? You are claiming something as fact, based on a report that speculates about possible future trends.

Notice "will rise", and "probable increase" in the single sentence you quoted?

"Led" is something that's already happened: "will rise" is something that hasn't yet occurred.

You understand the difference between past and future tenses, right?

 
At 6/21/2012 2:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak: "Jon, just the decriminalization of marijuana increased the costs substantially.

Marijuana Use Can Threaten Teen's Academic Success
"

There you go again. Past. Future. Does threaten. Can threaten.

Different concepts.

"Moreover, there are hidden costs, including for high school and college students: "

Do you mean like hidden debit card fees?

"The bottom line is that marijuana and other illegal drugs have real and proven negative effects on teen academic performance."

Is this one of the "hidden" costs? costs can't be both hidden and proven. Which is it?

 
At 6/21/2012 2:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Speaking of which check out these Mad Max like vehicles put together by the drug cartels..."

Wow! Those are way cool! I suppose I couldn't drive one legally in the US. :)

Actually, they're probably not very safe in a collision, lacking crumple zones and all. Your body would come to a complete stop as fast as the front bumper.

 
At 6/21/2012 2:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

M: "states are making moves in this direction. it will wind up at the supreme court."

Although the Supreme Court hasn't done a very good job of dealing with this issue in the past, that case DID produce one of my favorite dissenting opinions.

"If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers."

 
At 6/21/2012 5:35 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Although the Supreme Court hasn't done a very good job of dealing with this issue in the past, that case DID produce one of my favorite dissenting opinions.

"If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers."


It was a wonderful bit of writing that showed Thomas is one of the better thinkers on the court. It is too bad he did not use the same approach when he sided with the government on a few other issues. I only hope that Thomas can convince Scalia to oppose Obamacare and finally do some serious damage to the illogical and stupid Wickard ruling.

 
At 6/22/2012 12:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"if drug cultivation, creation, processing, transport, distribution, and sales were all legal, the profit margins would drop and look like any other agricultural or otc pharmaceutical business. margins would look like those on whiskey and cigarettes.

this would take most of the profit out of it. cartel would be no more interested than they are in smuggling soy paste or gin
"...

You're dreaming morganovich...

First of all there is still quite a bit of crime related to both cigs and booze, mostly of a tax nature...

Second, said gangs will move onto the next societal prohibition and make money and incite violence with whatever that might be...

 
At 6/22/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Second, said gangs will move onto the next societal prohibition and make money and incite violence with whatever that might be..."

While that may be true, it's doesn't seem like a good argument for continuing a WoD.

Perhaps if there weren't so many societal prohibitions, there would be no room for lucrative black markets.

If there is demand for something, it WILL be supplied.

 
At 6/22/2012 1:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"First of all there is still quite a bit of crime related to both cigs and booze, mostly of a tax nature..."

Of course there is. Increasing the price of those items creates an opportunity for a black market.

Taxes - if they are to exist at all - should be uniform, and affect all people equally. It's not legitimate to impose a "sin tax" on some individuals and not others.

While such taxes are always promoted as being in the public interest by discouraging supposedly undesirable behavior, we all know the real purpose is revenue enhancement.

 
At 6/22/2012 2:46 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

You're dreaming morganovich...

First of all there is still quite a bit of crime related to both cigs and booze, mostly of a tax nature...


Whenever government tries to steal too much someone will find it profitable and worth to give people what they want at a better price. The way to reduce this crime is to reduce the taxes on booze and alcohol.

Second, said gangs will move onto the next societal prohibition and make money and incite violence with whatever that might be...

Only if there is money to be made because government ignores human nature and prohibits legitimate activities that people want to engage in. If you want the mob out of prostitution all you need to do is to make it legal. Same with gambling. The mob knows this, which is why it supports prohibition.

 
At 6/22/2012 4:55 PM, Blogger Ken said...

juan,

First of all there is still quite a bit of crime related to both cigs and booze, mostly of a tax nature...

I notice you didn't say killing and territory wars. You explicitly acknowledge the problems with alcohol and tobacco is the government forcibly taking other people's hard earned income.

Second, said gangs will move onto the next societal prohibition and make money and incite violence with whatever that might be...

Because gangs aren't doing that at all now, right?

 

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