ecstasyi was planning a longer riff on the case for drugs but the economist has it mostly covered.
they were shier than i would have been on extolling the virtues of drug experimentation, instead only conceding legalization was the least bad solution.
their case is centered on the huge policy failings and costs associated with prohibition. there’s an interesting and worrying companion piece about mexico’s precarious drug wars. it highlights where the costs are most acutely felt – the producer nations fighting un-winnable wars sustained by insatiable global demand.

more than 200m people, or almost 5% of the world’s adult population, still take illegal drugs

the argument is then padded out with appeals to principles of liberty and pragmatism and acceptance of higher but safer level of drug use.

Although some illegal drugs are extremely dangerous to some people, most are not especially harmful. (Tobacco is more addictive than virtually all of them.) Most consumers of illegal drugs, including cocaine and even heroin, take them only occasionally. They do so because they derive enjoyment from them (as they do from whisky or a Marlboro Light). It is not the state’s job to stop them from doing so.

perhaps in the current economic gloom, a focus on legalization’s huge potential tax revenues is the political angle with a chance.

on drugs, the focus always seems to be on the dangers and risks involved. a balanced discussion has to look at the positives too: personal development, discovery, exploration, creativity, freedom, understanding, learning, bonding to list a few.

terrence mckenna

Half a Deck

We’re playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dicate where human curiousity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It’s an essentially preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue because what we’re talking about here is the repression of a religious sensibility. In fact not a religious sensibility, the religious sensibility. Not built on some con game spun out by eunichs, but based on the symbiotic relationship that was in place for our species for fifty thousand years before the advent of history, writing, priestcraft and propaganda. So it’s a clarion call to recover a birthright.

aldous huxley

On heroin: “Who lives longer: the man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or the man who lives on roast beef, water, and potatoes till ninety-five? One passes his twenty-four months in eternity. All the years of the beef-eater are lived only in time.”

indulgences

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