Ditching Drug Prohibition: A Dissent

In the second part of Dalrymple’s new piece on drug legalization, he disputes the notion that most of the harms associated with drug use are caused by its illegality and would disappear with legalization.

The considerable harms caused by a psychoactive substance with which most of us are familiar, alcohol, are certainly not caused by its illegality or by the restrictions placed upon its sale. No one ever died of alcoholic liver disease because alcohol was prohibited. The same is true of tobacco: no one ever died of lung cancer because he couldn’t buy cigarettes. Since on most calculations tobacco is one of the biggest causes of preventable disease in the world, this is not an entirely trivial matter. It is wishful thinking to suppose that harm may be done by psychoactive substances only, or principally, if they are made illegal.

Read it here (I was wrong to say in the earlier post that this was a two-part piece, as he says there will be at least one more).

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