February 24, 2008

drug policy revisited

I talked a while ago about a different option for drug policy. Recently Argentina has had an influx of cheap cocaine, which has had devastating social consequences at least according to the NYT). Guess what? Cocaine is bad for you! The anti-drug activists in the community they profile seem to want more restrictions and enforcement on drug use, which, to me, confirms that having totally legal hard/addictive drugs is probably a bad idea.

Reading the article, I questioned my assumption that having the facilities for processing a drug in the US would improve things. But a couple of things: we already have a situation in which people are adulterating cocaine and mixing it with dangerous additives to produce a cheap high (a major issue cited with paco, and here with crack). Second, getting rid of powerful and violent cartels benefits both people here (though I'm not sure how much) and, more obviously/significantly, people in developing countries. We could have fair trade coca! Cooperatives instead of cartels. Maybe also corporations, but I'd guess they're not worse than cartels.

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