From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@msx.upmc.edu)
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 11:43:44 MST
Mike Lorrey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote:
> Such individuals are no longer freely acting adult citizens.
> Furthermore, their acts in pursuit of the next high generally involve
> causing harm or damage or death to other people and their property:
> children and spouses, business associates, creditors, neighbors, etc..
> ### Drug addicts do damage in pursuit of the next high mainly because
> of the artificially inflated drug prices. If crack was available at
> cost+reasonable profit, they could sustain their habit by occasionally
> cutting a lawn (and they would, I am sure).
Yet why is it that both alcohol and gambling are legal activities for
adults in most jurisdictions in the US, yet many perfectly normal adults
completely ruin their lives, and the lives of others (spouse/children
going homeless/malnourished, drunk driving homicides and injuries, etc)?
If the criminality of the substance were the only factor as you claim,
then alcholics and gambling addicts should have no negative impact on
society. The fact they do have one disproves the criminality theory.
### You have a good point here - however, I was mostly concerned with the
criminal aspects of drug addiction - the fact that addicts tend to have the
combination of poor ability to earn money, and a large appetite for cash
(secondary to high drug prices). This results in a fair amount of theft,
robbery, and other damaging activities, which are effectively the result of
voters' good intentions expressed as stupid laws, and could be effectively
eliminated by giving registered addicts access to drugs at low cost, as in
methadone programs. I guess I should have been more specific about my
As you rightly note, there are two other types of damage inflicted on third
parties by addicts - the damage done as direct result of impaired cognition
while under the influence (as in DUI, or drunk wife beating), and the damage
secondary to neglect of their usual social responsibilities. Again, my
statement did not directly deny this (I wrote about damage *mainly* and not
exclusively because of drug prices), although I should have mentioned that
at cost drug access programs would not mitigate these types of damage.
> I fully agree with Amara -
> the state should not regulate drug intake by adults, except if
> absolutely unavoidable to limit access to drugs by adolescents, who
> are at the highest risk for becoming addicted.
While I agree that the state should not regulate intake by adults (a
point which I have NEVER disputed, by the way), this does not mean that
addicts should not be held accountable for their actions just as
children and criminals are. Users should be required by their insurance
carriers (even in a libertarian setting) to adequately insure against
the externalities of their potential bad behavior while impaired and/or
addicted. If they do take care of this risk, then they can toke up with
### I fully agree with you here. I think your and Amara's views are not so
dissimilar when look at the details.
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