Speaking frankly about drugs,
June 11, 2002 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Speaking frankly about drugs, the Economist all but concludes the war against some drugs' success a failure in the UK, saying that: "These figures confirm that the increasing resources employed to disrupt the illegal drugs trade are having little impact." Considering the present path is not working and broad swaths of the public (from across the political spectrum!—excepting the tobacco, alcohol, cotton and drug dealer lobby of course :) aren't against decriminalization, then why can't I have my Bay Golds? Besides, the pharmaceutical industry has a stellar record of raising prices :) Who knows, they may want in!
posted by kliuless (4 comments total)
Newsflash: Another "war on drugs" fails. Film at 11.

That there is anyone left who thinks there has been or will be any substantial success in reducing drug use comes as a surprise.
posted by majick at 7:48 PM on June 11, 2002

Not only is the drug war in the US a joke, but the more the US supports certain opium-producing countries for our pharmaceutical industries, the more these other opium producing countries are going to export herion. What the hell else are they supposed to do if their main export is opium, and the US doesn't want any? The war on drugs is a joke because drugs are an economy.
posted by Modem Ovary at 9:45 PM on June 11, 2002

yes! see that's the ironic bit. that socially conservative provisions enshrined in legal doctrine are having an undue effect on the creation of wealth, which happens to also be a conservative position. it can only be considered 'ill-gotten' in the sense that psychoactive substances are taboo in american society.

so enter the drug manufacturers. on the one hand you have the pharmaceutical industry where increasing amounts of R&D are resulting in fewer and fewer 'blockbuster' drugs. so they're having to raise drug prices and extend their patent protections by any means necessary. this in turn is aggravating their customers and is turning congress against them. their lobby on the hill is weakening.

what to do?

well with tons of research pouring into neuroscience and bioengineering the secrets of the brain and body are being unlocked so to speak, demystifying the 'sacred' functions of human behavior into biological processes. i think with the amount of sanctioned drug intake by american citizens on the rise—whether to lower cholesterol, avert depression, or get sprung—the taboo against 'drugs' per se is eroding and the step from mood enhancing to mind altering is not that large.

it just needs a final push.

as the economist article demonstrates, there is a market for narcotics and it is not going away. instead of working against it for reasons that are becoming harder to defend, i see it as a big opportunity for the drug lobby to champion legalization (although i think decriminalization would be better). it is a ready market for an industry whose own markets are no longer as fertile. their strengths are in quality control and mass production, while their competition is fragmented and unloved by their customers.

from a business, political and social standpoint, to me, it makes all the sense in the world. legalize (or better yet decriminalize) narcotics and the benefits will be greater profits for a struggling industry, a strengthened democracy through the inclusion of a whole class of people officially seen as pariahs, who may be your next door neighbors, and a more creative citizenry :)
posted by kliuless at 7:07 AM on June 12, 2002

^5 kliuless. Decriminalize. Unfortunately, as the article suggest, that's too radical. Oy.
posted by Modem Ovary at 5:13 AM on June 14, 2002

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