Friedman: "Prohibition is an attempted cure that makes matters worse-for both the addict and the rest of us." [46]

ISSUE: Worse by which standards: Libertarian, Utilitarian, Classical Conservative?

Nadelmann's Argument: Judge Drug Prohibitions Not By How They Are Intended To Work In Principle, But By How They Function in Practice

(I) Prohibition has failed.

In spite of drug prohibition on marijuana, heroin, and cocaine

(1) Average potency has increased.

(2) Prices have held constant.

(3) Drug revenues to organized crime in 1986:

Marijuana = $7 billion

Heroin = $7 billion

Cocaine = $13 billion

(II) The Cost of Prohibition

(1) Analogy to tobacco and alcohol

Potential source of tax income rather than tax expenditure.

(2) Drug-Related Crime

The four connections between drugs and crime

(3) Official Corruption

(4) Harm to Drug Users

(III) Main Issue That Nadelmann Fails To Adequately Address: Those Who Would Become Drug Abusers But For the Existence and Enforcement of the Drug Laws

Nadelmann's Proposal for Decriminalization Would Include:

(1) Strict Regulation over Production and Sale of Drugs (with Prohibitions on Sale to Children);

(2) Drug Treatment Programs to all who need them; and

(3) Drug Education for Children


Bennett: What are the costs of legalization?

What does Bennett mean by the "moral cost" of legalization?


A. The Example of Heroin

(1) Effects of Prohibition: No increase in the number of heroin addicts over 15 years.

(2) Expected Effects of Legalization: Exponential growth in the number of users.

Several million addicts, rather than several hundred thousand.

B. What are the Lives of Would-Be Addicts Worth?

Costs: $11 billion on enforcement and $2 billion on treatment

C. The "moral costs": Dependency on certain mind-altering drugs is a moral issue: the loss of one's soul [70]

D. Buying Time Until Science Finds a Cure

THE EXPERIENCE MACHINE EXPERIMENT: A Test Case for Paternalistic Justifications for Government Interference