Skip to comments.Economics 101 Tells Us That the War on Drugs is a Complete Failure: Prices Are Going Down, Not Up
Posted on 07/06/2012 4:52:57 PM PDT by BfloGuy
From the New York Times article, "Numbers Tell of Failure in Drug War the War on Peaceful Americans Who Voluntary Choose to Use Intoxicants Not Currently Approved of By U.S. Politicians and Government Officials":
"When policy makers in Washington worry about Mexico these days, they think in terms of a handful of numbers: Mexicos 19,500 hectares devoted to poppy cultivation for heroin; its 17,500 hectares growing cannabis; the 95 percent of American cocaine imports brought by Mexican cartels through Mexico and Central America.
They are thinking about the wrong numbers. If there is one number that embodies the seemingly intractable challenge imposed by the illegal drug trade on the relationship between the United States and Mexico, it is $177.26. That is the retail price, according to Drug Enforcement Administration data, of one gram of pure cocaine from your typical local pusher. That is 74 percent cheaper than it was 30 years ago.
Prices match supply with demand. If the supply of an illicit drug were to fall, say because the Drug Enforcement Administration stopped it from reaching the nations shores, we should expect its price to go up.
That is not what happened with cocaine. Despite billions spent on measures from spraying coca fields high in the Andes to jailing local dealers in Miami or Washington, a gram of cocaine cost about 16 percent less last year than it did in 2001. The drop is similar for heroin and methamphetamine.
These numbers contain pretty much all you need to evaluate the Mexican and American governments war to eradicate illegal drugs from the streets of the United States. They would do well to heed its message. What it says is that the struggle on which they have spent billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of lives over the last four decades has failed.
Most important, conceived to eradicate the illegal drug market, the war on drugs cannot be won. Once they understand this, the Mexican and American governments may consider refocusing their strategies to take aim at what really matters: the health and security of their citizens, communities and nations."
Nonetheless, the "War on Drugs" hasn't done a thing to stop the use of them. In fact, as the post points out, the price of drugs is collapsing because the supply is so great.
Can conservatives admit that "The War on Drugs" is, perhaps, a bigger flop than the Democrats' "War on Poverty?"
Or should we continue to "create jobs" by throwing more money at it and feeling really good about how we're helping society?
The only price going up as a result of the War on (Some) Drugs is the cost of lost liberties.
Don’t worry, once they’re legalized and the government attempts to regulate them then the cost will go back up. Do you think that if the government starts dispensing heroin and meth rations that the cartels will all die? There will just be a new ‘war’, a capitalist competition war between the government dispensaries and the cartels. The supply will simply increase more, which is a good thing I guess.
A little secret for you:
The cartels will always win because they operate globally outside of all laws & we’re trying to fight them from within the confines of a lawful civilization.
Legalizing drugs will not stop the encroachment of their lawlessness into our world. It will only hasten it.
My niece was hooked in methamphetamine. BAD! After her third trip to the joint, she got serious and has been clean for over 10 years now. I’m happy she’s not dead. I’m not a big fan of “rehab” because I’m convinced it doesn’t work. She made me eat my words. So okay, it worked once.
How hard would you work if you knew that success would mean you are out of work?
If it’s easier to operate within the law, there will be no room for cartels. After all, where’s the cartel for rice or wheat?
The other thing to note is that a theocratic police state - Iran - can’t control its drug problem.
So by that reasoning we shouldn’t be fighting islamism? It’s still an encroaching threat that we barely have at bay. By your logic we should disband the military and just let the islamists have their way because we’ll never win.
Most folks beleive keeping drugs illegal doesn’t stop anybody from getting them, but also believe that far more people would use them if legalized.
What planet do you live on? “Easier to operate within the law” means nothing. It’s always going to be CHEAPER to operate outside of the law....that’s how the drug cartels have gotten so big and powerful.
Government ran legalized drugs would be a bloated expensive disaster just like any other federal dept. is.
How many drugs are imported into Iran via illegal border crossings versus the US? Last time I checked Iran has its border sealed up like Fort Knox. How many SA cartels operate in Iran? I’m going to guess its zero. How many of its own people does Iran murder versus drug gangs murdering iran’s citizens? I’m pretty sure Iran kills way more of its own people. I don’t think it’s a good comparison.
You are wrong. The war against drugs IS working.
Thanks to that war, heroin and cocaine are not for sale at the local convenience store. Heroin and cocaine are not handed out like Slurpees at Seven-Eleven. Heroin and cocaine are not sold like hot dogs at the corner of most streets. Heroin and cocaine are not passed out by vendors at baseball games. Heroin and cocaine are not served at soccer team parties after the championship game. Heroin and cocaine are not placed on your tray by airline stewards. Heroin and cocaine are not everywhere — thanks to our brave policemen and parents and those non-libertarians who support them.
You are WRONG. End of debate.
As I said. Where are the alcohol cartels? Where are the rice cartels? They don’t exist.
If the government doesn’t (a) overtax (cigarettes in NY) and (b) overregulate (unscheduled prescription drugs) then there’s no point in having a black market or a cartel.
Legalizing does not mean advocating. Think cigarettes and soccer games.
BTW, for the most part, “brave policemen” is an oxymoron.
The Cartel armies are incomparable to the old time mobsters. The Cartel armies are infinitely larger, more global, more resourceful, and infinitely more vicious than any moonshine running gang ever was.
What the heck does rice have to do with anything? There aren’t any ‘rice cartels’ because you can’t get high on rice. That’s a nonsensical non sequitor.
Have you ever experienced any serious alcoholism cases? Nasty. Hard liquor should be banned also.
So if you’re not advocating drug usage by legalization exactly what should the stipulations be for purchasing legalized drugs?
Archer Daniel Midlands and Cargil.
Don’t tell me you are naive enough to believe that your tax dollars are being used for something other than moving paper from one desk to another and putting a good face on it? Really?
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