Pareto's law on drugs
April 21, 2012 12:38 AM Subscribe
Rethinking the War on Drugs
posted by stbalbach (87 comments total)
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(WSJ video / not OpEd). A more nuanced view than typically found in the anti-drugs vs. legalize drugs ad nausea. Practical solutions being done today.
Some points Mark Kleiman
1. In real world, 80% of drugs (including alcohol) are taken by 20% of drug users. Known as Pareto's law
2. Focus on the 20% with strict laws, the other 80% get off light with escalating consequence for refractions. In real world experience, 80% of the 80% go clean after first infraction (Pareto again).
3. Alcohol is the number one problem drug, 60 million abusers vs 3 million abuser of all other hard drugs combined. "What we are getting for the prohibition on hard drugs is keeping the cocaine problem smaller than the alcohol problem."
4. There are no politicians in America advocating the legalization of cocaine, heroin or meth. The anti-vs-pro drug debate is largely media fiction "for people who don't have to actually do anything".