By Amy Alkon
shared this story
from Advice Goddess Blog.
How Prohibition Makes Drugs More Dangerous — And Even More Deadly
It’s the hysteria, not the facts, and the prohibition, not the drugs, that makes some so deadly to some people.
Jacob Sullum writes at reason that drugs laced with substances — like fentanyl — that can be dangerous or deadly wouldn’t be a problem if drugs were legal:
Prohibition magnifies drug hazards by creating a black market where quality and purity are unpredictable:
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, fentanyl is “roughly 50-80 times more potent than morphine,” so it’s the sort of ingredient you’d want to know about before snorting or injecting that white powder you just bought. This kind of thing–passing one drug off as another, delivering something much more (or less) potent than the customer expects–almost never happens in a legal market. When was the last time you bought a bottle of 80-proof whiskey that turned out to be 160 proof? The main reason liquor buyers do not have to worry about such a switcheroo is not that distillers are regulated, or even that their customers, unlike consumers in a black market, have legal recourse in case of fraud. The main reason is that legitimate businesses need to worry about their reputations if they want to keep customers coming back. It is hard to build and maintain a reputation in a black market, where brands do not mean much.
And no, addiction isn’t a “disease.” I wrote about it here in relation to porn:
Sure, porn can pose problems in a marriage or relationship — when used to excess. The same goes for golf clubs, credit cards, and Hostess Ding Dongs. Of course, when there are problems, people love to blame the thing being used instead of the person doing the using. This thinking is fed by the damaging contention that addiction is “a disease.” Multiple sclerosis is a disease. You can’t decide to not have multiple sclerosis. You can decide to stop engaging in some behavior. You might not want to stop, it might be terribly hard to stop, but if the stakes are high enough, you will. Just ask some guy who tells you he can’t stop looking at porn. Sorry, but if his house catches fire, he’s not going to sit there at the computer simultaneously getting off and getting crispy.