Drug Policy

Heroin Addicts for the Drug War

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The LAPD officer who writes under the pseudonym "Jack Dunphy" has a wrap-up of The Wire at Pajamas Media that concludes with a stirring defense of the drug war. It goes like this:

Some addicts can and do clean up, but will legalization make honest citizens out of drug dealers willing to kill over control of a street corner?

The argument for drug legalization is a rational one, but it is not one that I, after more than twenty years as a cop in Los Angeles, can endorse. Watching Bubbles struggle with his demons over these last five years, I was often reminded of a heroin addict I arrested years ago. As I was about to close the cell door on him, I asked him if he thought heroin should be legalized.

"No way," he said.

I asked him why not.

"If you legalize it," he said, "pretty soon everybody will be like me."

This is what drug warrior arguments have come to. Cheap appeals to emotion that rest on the authority of a heroin addict.

Let's start with the line about "dealers willing to kill over a street corner." In fact, legalization would take care of that problem, because when a product is legal, "turf wars" are better known as "market share." That is, there are legitimate ways of expanding your business. You innovate. You offer a better product (like, say, one that doesn't kill people). And there are legitimate ways of handling bad business associates. You sue them. Or you call the police. You don't kill them. I haven't read about a Michelob transaction gone wrong in a long, long time.

As for Dunphy's strange appeal to a junkie's authority, there are several problems with the "if you legalize drugs, everyone will become an addict" argument. Among them:

1) It assumes that prohibition is actually preventing access to illegal drugs in any meaningful way today. It isn't. I could have a bag of marijuana in my hands in about five minutes. As fast or faster than I could get a sandwich. It would probably take me 20 minutes to a half hour hunt down a small bag of heroin, but it wouldn't be difficult. And I could get either without any real fear of arrest. And I'm not a drug user. If I had actual connections, it'd be even easier. Some survey data shows high school kids can get marijuana as easily or easier than they can get alcohol.

2) It wrongly assumes that the all of the problems we associate with drugs–the bloody turf wars, the presence of particularly potent drugs like meth, the lengths to which dealers will go to get their premium, etc.–are the product of the drugs themselves, and not the product of them being prohibited. This chart helps slay that argument.

3) It assumes that the laws against using and distributing drugs are the only thing preventing a huge portion of the population from trying them, and becoming addicted to them. Legalization may indeed increase the use of currently banned drugs. But I have my doubts about a massive increase in addicts. The social stigma would still be there, as it is with alcoholism. Perhaps more people would experiment. But it isn't clear that that's a bad thing. Use is not abuse, no matter what ONDCP says in its press releases. And the vast majority of drug users—even "hard" drug users—don't turn into addicts.

Certainly, the overwhelming majority of people who currently abstain from drug use solely due to drugs being illegal are unlikely to become violent addicts should those drugs be legalized, robbing and killing at will to maintain a fix. To the extent that there would be increases in experimentation, the drugs people would be experimenting with would be safer. At minimum they'd be regulated by market forces, and more likely, heavily regulated by government. Would excessive regulation lead to a violent black market in unregulated drugs? I doubt it. Is there a violent black market in unregulated alcohol? Tobacco? There are limited black markets, yes. But they aren't nearly the problem the black markets for cocaine, heroin, and the like are.

4) It rests on the absurd assumption that it's appropriate and logical to throw people in jail in order to protect them from becoming addicts.

For an alternate take on the drug war from a former LAPD cop, see my interview with David Doddridge.

NEXT: Insurgency Economics

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  1. “Jack Dunphy”, Pseudonymous LAPD Officer Extraordinaire, is a heroin-using gay man… not that there’s anything wrong with that!!

  2. As I was about to close the cell door on him

    When I hit that part, that was it. Dude, you are locking someone up that is hurting no one (but himself) and clearly wants and needs help. It’s fucking insane.

  3. Even in the Libertarian Fantasy Universe, some form of drugs or some form of drug sales would be illegal, and the violence will simply switch from fighting over all the trade to fighting over the crack trade, or the trade to minors, etc.

  4. Is there a violent “selling Budweiser to underage kids” market that I’ve missed?

  5. I believe I’ve read “Dunphy’s” articles on NR before, and there’s pretty much no police activity that he won’t defend. Probably all the stuff that Radley has profiled for us.

  6. Click. Read. Think. Learn. | March 17, 2008, 5:15pm | #
    Even in the Libertarian Fantasy Universe, some form of drugs or some form of drug sales would be illegal, and the violence will simply switch from fighting over all the trade to fighting over the crack trade, or the trade to minors, etc.

    Changed your handle I see…

    In the my Libertarian Fantasy Universe, only the violent actions of the so called fighters/wackos/assholes would result in any legal/offical responses… not “things”. In short simple language; people and their actions are subject to consequences and rules of conduct, not objects. Clear?

  7. David – yes, but it’s covered up by all the news stories about the violent trade in supplying high schoolers smokes.

    Lonewacko – look out! It’s an immigrant Spanish speaking drug dealer!

  8. “If you legalize it,” he said, “pretty soon everybody will be (an alcoholic/chronic smoker) like me.”

  9. http://www.drugwarfacts.org/Modifiedmurderchart.gif

    Is the very low value around the turn of the 20th century the result of poor data or is it real? If the later, does anyone have any theories on what the hell happened?

  10. I favor marijauna legalizationa, but I don’t have the first clue where to get it or heroin or any other illegal drug if you held a gun to my head. 20 minutes? What kind of company do you keep?

  11. Richard, he lives in DC. ‘Nuff said.

  12. When was the last time you heard of a Michelob deal at all?

  13. Even in the Libertarian Fantasy Universe, some form of drugs or some form of drug sales would be illegal,

    Cite please. Should be easy to find as there aren’t a lot of pages in the LFU criminal code.

  14. What drug warriors fail[or omit on purpose]to say is when legal most would use the safer,manufactured drugs.Pot is the #1 illegal drug and the bedrock of the most violent cartels.It’s also safer than alcohol.The crack market would dry up.Why use ‘bath tub gin’ when you can get pure,controlled cocaine?As I stated before,we replaced Al Capone with Bud,Coors and Miller and it worked.

  15. When was the last time you heard of a Michelob deal at all?

    December 4th, 1933.

  16. When was the last time you heard of a Michelob deal at all?

    About thirty seconds ago, when somebody bought a sixer at the corner stop-n-shop.

  17. Here’s a question; is there anyone who is actually surprised that they got addicted to heroin. “Oh! Now I’m a junkie; never my heroin use to lead to this!”

    Some survey data shows high school kids can get marijuana as easily or easier than they can get alcohol.
    My driver’s license has a crack in it, so for me its easier to get beer by asking my 19-year-old roommate to buy it for me then to actually buy it myself. And yet my cracked diver’s license never gets me in trouble when I cash a check, weird…right?

  18. Here’s a question; is there anyone who is actually surprised that they got addicted to heroin. “Oh! Now I’m a junkie; never my heroin use to lead to this!”
    This is what happens to your grammar when you’ve been up for over 32 hours.

  19. I favor marijauna legalizationa, but I don’t have the first clue where to get it or heroin or any other illegal drug if you held a gun to my head. 20 minutes? What kind of company do you keep?

    I live in Detroit. Midtown to be precise. If I want crack cocaine or heroin, I don’t have to ask anybody. I’ll walk down the street (Cass, Second or Third) and somebody will say to me “Rocks” (crack cocaine, $10 each), “Blow” (Heroin, $10 a pop, which I’m told is a fix), or both. Occasionaly somebody will say “Trees” but the reefer trade is still mostly indoors.

    The drug war is being fought in my neighborhood, and my neighbos are the losers.
    Who the fuck am I supposed to thank for this?
    I know who to blame.

    BTW, I tried everything available in the ’70s. Got addicted to nothing. Hell, I never missed a day of work.

  20. I could have a bag of marijuana in my hands in about five minutes. As fast or faster than I could get a sandwich. It would probably take me 20 minutes to a half hour hunt down a small bag of heroin, but it wouldn’t be difficult. And I could get either without any real fear of arrest. And I’m not a drug user.

    Your “not a drug user” clarification is unnecessary. EVERYBODY knows that you wait 17 hours after you reach the dealer to actually get the shit in hand. Or is that just within surburbia? OTOH, I did score an Ambien from an unknown person (doc to boot) on the flight from Santiago to Miami yesterday.

    Timely dealers wear white coats these days.

  21. Even in the Libertarian Fantasy Universe, some form of drugs or some form of drug sales would be illegal, and the violence will simply switch from fighting over all the trade to fighting over the crack trade, or the trade to minors, etc.

    I don’t see why any form of drugs or sales would be illegal, because the reasons would be the same regardless of the product or method of sale.

    Can you think of any other consumer product which can’t be allowed on the market because people will like it too much??!!

  22. …….. and the violence will simply switch from fighting over all the trade to fighting over the crack trade, or the trade to minors, etc

    Well, i haven’t noticed Bud & Coors shooting it out in my neighborhood over the trade to minors. Yours?

  23. Uhh.. I have no idea where to get marijuana and certainly have idea where to get herion. If it was legal, I’m pretty sure I’d know where to find it… so, it’s a pretty stupid argument that access isn’t currently limited.

    Secondly, the argument isn’t that if you legalize drugs the companies which produce and sell drugs will continue killing people – it’s that the type of people who are currently killing each other will continue to do so, with or without legal drugs. Some people are just scumbags…

    Third, anyone who has taken any economics understands supply and demand which will ensure that legalization will lead to more drug use (total price will go down, hence demand will increase).

    Any argument for legalization needs to deal honestly with these issues, otherwise you just sound like an ignorant jackass.

  24. Woah, I used to live a few blocks away from J sub D

  25. from the Wikipedia article

    In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defense mechanism in which one attributes one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions to others. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the ego recognize them. The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud and further refined by his daughter Anna Freud, and for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as “Freudian Projection”

    It reminds me of the evangelists who preach against “teh gay” as if everyone is dogged by homosexual interest the way that they themselves are. (Note: I am not arguing moral, or other, equivalence between homosexuality and drug abuse.)

  26. Read “The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud” as “The complete nonsense developed by know moronic lunatic Sigmun Freud”…

  27. Third, anyone who has taken any economics understands supply and demand which will ensure that legalization will lead to more drug use (total price will go down, hence demand will increase).

    Hm. I wonder how closely drug use and abuse are correlated for illegal drugs. For that matter, I wonder how closely alcohol use and abuse are correlated. It’s sometimes remarked by drug warriors that Prohibition did, in fact, reduce alcohol consumption in the US, but that doesn’t necessarily say anything about the prevalence of alcohol abuse/alcoholism during that time period. I have no doubt that use would go up were drugs made legal, but that’s not to say that the population of junkies would go up appreciably.

  28. “I could have a bag of marijuana in my hands in about five minutes.”

    You can’t get that cop to your house in five minutes.

    By making such a large segment of the population criminals, you are heading the country for a replay of the Great Depression. If you look back at the time line you’ll notice that Prohibition created more criminals and turf wars and more bar stools, then it ushered in the Great Depression and a few more years of the process of making the population criminals and prohibition failed and was repealed then it took about 4 years to start improving.

    Check it out…

  29. So, anyone think “Jack Dunphy” would be willing to admit that, if drugs were legal, *HE* would have no choice but to become a floor-crawling smack addict? Or is this the infamous “everyone else would become an addict because they’re not smart and disciplined like I am” approach to law?

    Legal or not, I ain’t doing anything that involves a needle. Screw that.

  30. Would excessive regulation lead to a violent black market in unregulated drugs? I doubt it.

    Ummm, considering that the WoD IS excessive regulation, this sentence makes no sense in the context of the rest of the article. The more you regulate it, the more likely a violent black market will arise. And if you completely deregulate it, by definition you can’t even have a black market.

  31. Not all drug related violence is due to prohibition. A large portion is due to the fact that a junkie generally has very few options available to him to financially support his habit. One option, of course, is armed robbery. Had a childhood friend (dead now), who supported his habit that way.

    I don’t know what the solution to that is. I suppose we could consider treating the hardcore junkies like we do schizophrenics. Treat ’em, release ’em and keep as good an eye on them as we can.

  32. I favor marijauna legalizationa, but I don’t have the first clue where to get it or heroin or any other illegal drug if you held a gun to my head. 20 minutes? What kind of company do you keep?

    Richard, he lives in DC. ‘Nuff said.

    AND works at Reason. If multiple people working there aren’t holding illegal drugs, then they might as well all turn in their libertarian secret decoder rings, yeah?

  33. Bingo –

    Was I exagerrating in the slightest?

  34. It’s been that way for a looooong time.

  35. Know who else he should have asked? A heroin *dealer*. The biggest advocates of the Drug War are the racketeers who profit from the black market trade. And that includes the biggest drug gang of all, the racketeers in blue whose operation involves civil forfeiture, planted evidence, jailhouse snitches and plea blackmail

  36. Not all drug related violence is due to prohibition. A large portion is due to the fact that a junkie generally has very few options available to him to financially support his habit.

    If not for prohibition, it wouldn’t be so difficult to support a drug habit, as costs would go down. People don’t tend to turn to violent crime to buy cheap, legal things.

  37. And that includes the biggest drug gang of all, the racketeers in blue whose operation involves civil forfeiture, planted evidence, jailhouse snitches and plea blackmail

    American League Umpires?

  38. If not for prohibition, it wouldn’t be so difficult to support a drug habit, as costs would go down. People don’t tend to turn to violent crime to buy cheap, legal things.

    And, sans urinalysis, it would be far easier for the user to obtain gainful employment, contributing to the economy, society and the tax base.
    Would that be such a terrible thing?

  39. J sub D,

    It would be terrible! Then we’d go back to the way things were before marijuana was outlawed; when black men would smoke a joint and begin to think they were just as good as a white man.

  40. when black men would smoke a joint and begin to think they were just as good as a white man.

    IIRC, that is an Ansliger quote. Don’t you just love the immorality encountered with just a cursory examination of drug war history?

  41. Yep, it was Anslinger. Tarran you cleaned it up a bit. Here is the original quote -“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

  42. It assumes that prohibition is actually preventing access to illegal drugs in any meaningful way today. It isn’t.

    This is the problem with the drug war: it just doesn’t work in a free society.

    The only way we’ll stop people from using drugs is by living Orwell’s 1984.

  43. jose sez Third, anyone who has taken any economics understands supply and demand which will ensure that legalization will lead to more drug use (total price will go down, hence demand will increase).

    Anyone who has taken any economics should also understand elasticity; and you can make a pretty good argument that demand in this case isn’t all that elastic. Demand after all calls forth the supply – not vice versa.

  44. A large portion is due to the fact that a junkie generally has very few options available to him to financially support his habit.

    If you hear someone say this, tell them about William Stewart Halsted, one of the fathers of modern surgery… and a lifelong morphine addict.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halsted

  45. J sub D,

    I had to clean up the language to since people don’t use the word ‘darkie’ any more.

  46. Gee, since booze is legal, I guess I have to become a drunk, right?

    I’ve been a teetotaler all my life, and the premise that we only refrain from self-destructive behavior when it’s illegal is 100% unmitigated bullshit.

    -jcr

  47. Folks on this thread would be very interested in the results of the Zogby poll StoptheDrugWar.org recently commissioned — we asked “If hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine were legalized, would you be likely to use them?” Ninety-ninety percent of respondents answered, “No.” Only 0.6 percent said “Yes.” The remaining 0.4 percent weren’t sure. See: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle_blog/2007/dec/05/poll_hard_drug_legalization_little_use

  48. Dunphy’s junkie is contradicted by a recent poll released by Zogby International (and featured prominently on the website of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; http://www.leap.cc). The poll asked respondents if they would try “hard drugs,” such as Heroin or Cocaine if they were legalized. Ninety-nine percent of those polled answered NO! Only .06 said yes. These results are dramatic, but not overly suprising. Most people just aren’t going to binge on dangerous narcotics simply because they can. Some will try them, but most of these people will not organize their lifestyle around drugs. The minority of drug users that become addicted likely have other problems (generally a sad, empty life, mental issues, etc.) that make them particularly vulnerable to self-destructive behaviors. Incarceration will not remedy a screwed up life.

  49. Oops, sorry David. Didn’t mean to steal your thunder. I’m glad there are others out there that saw the poll.

  50. >>Your “not a drug user” clarification is unnecessary. EVERYBODY knows that you wait 17 hours after you reach the dealer to actually get the shit in hand. Or is that just within surburbia?

    It’s in places without slums, suburban or otherwise. If you know the right neighborhood and are willing to risk it, you just walk down the right street, lingering a fraction of a second near loitering males, and they mumble whatever is the local slang for the drugs they’ve got. It’s not the safest strategy but it works.

  51. I’m so very tired of the arguments from effect. Elasticity, demand kurv, blablabla. I have the perfect right to f**k myself up in any way I please. This is because I own myself.

    If you think I do not own myself, and am consequently a slave, please tell me why I don’t, who does own me and why they own me.

    Otherwise, please shut the hell up. It’s very annoying to have a gun shoved in your face for no good reason.

  52. “And, sans urinalysis, it would be far easier for the user to obtain gainful employment, contributing to the economy, society and the tax base. Would that be such a terrible thing?”

    I’m not talking about failing to find employment because of drug testing. I’m talking about failing to find employment because the junk makes you an unemployable worker. There are functional heroin addicts out there to be sure, but it seems like there’s a lot more who just would be unable to hold down anything remotely close to a ‘job.’

    I’m not trying to justify the drug war, I’m just saying that there’s some violence committed by junkies due to their inability to get money any other way.

  53. miche, yeah that’s a surburbia thing. I live in the Atlanta area, haven’t used in ages, yet if I decided to go on a three-day coke bender I know exactly where to go to get some decebnt shit. I guess it’s part of the whole “urban experience”.

    As for the “if it were legal everyone would do it” argument, if that held true we would be a country of raging alcoholics and chain-smokers. Last time I checked we were neither.

    A side note; the legal druges scare me more than the illegal ones. Ever watched someone ween themselves off an anti-depressant? Not good times.

  54. I’m not trying to justify the drug war, I’m just saying that there’s some violence committed by junkies due to their inability to get money any other way.

    I think that this is mainly a feature of the illegality of drug use and trading, not the use/trading themselves. The prices, risks of use, and the web of incentives for drug dealers are all much different in a black market than an open market.

    For one thing, drugs are much more expensive when outlawed–heroin was unbelievably cheap in the UK before it was illegal. Dealers consequently have much more to gain by getting people addicted in a black market, as it is bothmore profitable to supply addicts with high-priced goods and more risky to have a loose commercial relationship like you do with your grocery store when you could be attacked for doing business.


  55. I’m not talking about failing to find employment because of drug testing. I’m talking about failing to find employment because the junk makes you an unemployable worker.

    Most junkies hold down jobs. If they were mostly engaged in violent criminal behavior they wouldn’t last very long. There is nothing inherent in opiate psychopharmacology to encourage crime or violence-if fact quite the opposite.

  56. Is Voros the most famous person to have posted on H&R?

    BTW Voros, Thanks. My fantasy baseball pitching staff has been cheap and good since I first read your stuff.

  57. If you legalize it…..pretty soon everybody will be like me

    Why are the drug warriors willing to spend billions of dollars, millions of man hours, and willing to flush my children’s birth rights down the toilet just to keep some junkie from sticking a needle in his arm?

    Why do they care so much about THAT guy? You know, the guy that is still sticking the needle in his arm despite the cops best efforts to stop him.

  58. Voros,


    it seems like there’s a lot more who just would be unable to hold down anything remotely close to a ‘job.’

    Any reason to expect it to be any different that for alcohol? There are far more “funtional” alcoholics than the other kind.

  59. funtional

    Freudian slip, my man?

    There are far more “funtional” alcoholics than the other kind.

    And the upside is no stupid meetings.

  60. Jen,
    I could go to a Dallas club and find some blow in a second but it seems to be easier to get drugs you don’t really need on airplanes or at the office these days. Once you get the shit lined up with a dealer, you have to wait, wait, wait for him to show up. It’s not like we could call the BBB about poor customer service.

    Seriously, I could hit speed dial and find an illicit source right now but it’s still less time consuming to get an unknown doc to write (or provide as sample) a mood altering drug or have a friend play at medicine.

    People don’t care about drugs, they care about packaging and prescription. Now, where is my phone? I need to sober up from the booze and Ambien that I legally inbibed.

  61. And the upside is no stupid meetings.

    Not quite true, TWC. The meetings “funtional” alcoholics hold are known as “parties”. Whether they’re stupid or not depends on who shows up.

  62. the upside is no stupid meetings.

    Nah, thats the upside of being a member of the Southern Baptist Homebrewers Association.

    Dont assume freudian what can be ascribed to bad typing.

  63. Oh, and Jen, call me if you wanna hang out. ;o)

  64. Well, bad typing or not, it’s still fun-tional. 🙂

  65. Baked, you call them parties, I prefer to call them wine tastings.

    Sounds a bit pretentious, eh?

  66. I’m doing a little wine tasting right now, actually. A little red and a couple of chapters of Duma Key. So far, pretty good. On both counts.

  67. Southern Baptist Homebrewers Association

    I heard that Southern Baptists aren’t allowed to have sex while standing up.

    Might lead to dancing……….

  68. Southern Baptist Homebrewers Association

    cue cognitive dissonance………

    …….since when are Southern Baptists allowed to drink brewskis?

  69. I could have a bag of marijuana in my hands in about five minutes.

    Yo can you hook me up? It’s been pretty dry here lately.

  70. I don’t see why any form of drugs or sales would be illegal, because the reasons would be the same regardless of the product or method of sale.

    so you guys seriously want it to be legal to to sell crack to 10-year-olds. lol @ libertarianism.

  71. “There is nothing inherent in opiate psychopharmacology to encourage crime or violence-if fact quite the opposite.”

    No it’s the addiction, and for reasons we don’t fully understand yet, the addiction and the lengths folks will go to feed it seems to be more severe than other addictions both legal (booze, cigarettes) and illegal (gambling, pot). Folks will ruin their lives over gambling, but they’ll abandon them altogether over heroin.

    Again I’m not justifying their prohibition, but I don’t think equating it with booze is quite right either. Heroin legalization comes with it, I think, a pretty much automatic government run (or at least extremely heavily subsidized) program to treat the hardcores. For political reasons, if no other. I don’t know how you could ever sell legalization (at this point) to people otherwise.

  72. lol @ trolls who fail miserably at being trolls.

  73. Voros McCracken

    The typical heroin user is non-functional when he can’t get a fix rather than when he is “high”.

    A reliable reasonably priced supply works wonders on a users ability to function.

    Places that have such a thing tend to have fewer of those addiction related crime problems you seem so obsessed with. Have they eliminated street crime altogether? No, as another commenter observed we will always have a ready supply of scumbags.

  74. Oh come on Miggs, some of this shit is really fucking dumb.

  75. The turf war analogy I prefer is:
    You don’t hear of McDonald’s shooting at Burger King when they open up a restaurant in the same street.

  76. I’m not quite sure how this story from the WoD in Europe relates to the thread at hand, but I still wanna share:

    A few years back, heroin users here in Finland largely switched to buprenorphine (Subutex), a prescription drug for opiod addiction that is apparently fairly similar to heroin, if used intravenously. The switch was due to supply going down with the war in Afganistan, and easier access to blackmarket buprenorphine from Estonia.

    The result was zero heroin overdose deaths over a couple of years. Also, with milder and longer withdrawal, bupre-addicts are much more functional human beings than heroin users, and the switch to rehab and maintained addiction, with prescribed dosages used orally should be easier from buprenorphine.

    Obviously, the official response was a crackdown on the alarming new drug, including discrediting doctors who prescribe Subutex for outpatient use. ODs are happening again.

  77. “If you legalize it,” he said, “pretty soon everybody will be like me.”

    It must be comforting for a person to believe that everyone is as weak and pathetic as he is.

  78. Did Dunphy ever pick up a zooted stockbroker?

    “No man, if you make it legal, everyone will be driven, rich, and happy like me?”

  79. American Idle is legal yet I have never watched a single episode.

  80. a–Enlighten us. You obviously have the brain trust working overtime.

  81. And BTW ‘a,’ what drug are you on that has you up at 4 AM, commenting on a blog?

  82. so you guys seriously want it to be legal to to sell crack to 10-year-olds.

    Oh, absolutely. Smokes and booze too. But the overarching goal of libertarians is to see to it that poor people who are too stupid to inherit their own money starve in the streets instead of living on the dole. That and using guys with no arms and legs for third base in every major league ballpark.

  83. I did a quick survey of a middle school girl that is in the house talking to her aunt.

    she claims that she can get any of the drugs mentioned in this thread within a day.

    And that one of the hardest ones for her to get is alcohol (heroin would be harder), but can still be obtained if she wanted to.

    That is the war on drugs for you.

  84. TWC,

    cue cognitive dissonance………

    …….since when are Southern Baptists allowed to drink brewskis?

    Just checking in from lat night, if you can find a mention of alcohol here let me know. They even dodge it in the Lord’s Supper section, refering to “fruit of the vine” instead. No mention of dancin either, for that matter.

    One of the prime rules of being a baptist is “never acknowledge knowing a fellow baptist in the liquor store”. 🙂

    Hence the SBHA having no meetings (this is a non-existent org, but Ive considered setting up a website for it). Unfortunately, sbha.org is taken, but .net is available.

  85. TWC–I thought we agreed to use the limbless guys as pinatas at children’s birthday parties? No reason they can’t do both I suppose. Might as well maximize their productivity in the off-season.

    We still plan on stealing their wages so we can use it for cheap hookers, right? None of the $4K/night stuff for me.

  86. As the line goes in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: “Jack Dunphy’s full of shit!”

  87. I support drug legalization. But aren’t hardcore drugs like heroin and meth much more addictive than alcohol? Watching a show like “Intervention” makes me worry.

    Could you imagine Madison Avenue pushing something like heroin, which already sells itself? I think the whole country would be hooked on it in a minute.

    This doesn’t mean prohibition is the right policy, but this is not an easy thing to sort out.

  88. By the way, on that murder chart, what explains the uptick in murders circa 1960, before the start of the war on drugs? Also, what about the other initial increase, in the early 1900s? I’m just curious.

  89. Tim,

    The life time addiction rate for alcohol is about 11%. The life time addiction rate for heroin is about 17%. Meth falls somewhere in between, I seem to recall.

    So for everyone 100 people who try either alcohol or heroin, about 11 will become alcohol addicts sometime down the road, while about 17 will become heroin addicts sometime down the road.

    Now why are we fighting a war on drugs?

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