Should Drugs Be Legalized?
How much worse off would the world be if drugs like Marijuana and Cocaine were legalized? Some economists (such as Milton Friedman) have pointed out the link between unnecessary government involvement and the unforseen impact on the drug market. Because the government gets involved with drug control, punishing those who use drugs by throwing them in jail, they are disrupting the lives of people who aren’t really hurting anyone else but themselves.
Friedman brings up a great point, explaining that the government intervenes with those who abuse drugs by saying that it’s “bad” for them. As a result of people doing something that is “bad” for their bodies, they are taken to jail. The threat of being punished with jail time makes drugs more expensive, which causes those who use drugs to seek alternative means of getting them, thereby increasing the crime rate, etc. It seems to be a vicious cycle, perpetuated by the government sticking its nose where it doesn’t necessarily belong. After all, there are other things, Friedman points out, that people do which are bad for them. He gives the example of the obesity epidemic in the United States. More people die from overeating than from drug use, and overeating is just as bad, if not worse, than using drugs. Therefore, why aren’t people being arrested for it?
Watch the video below to see exactly what Milton Friedman’s thoughts were on drugs, substance abuse, and whether or not they should be legalized. What do you think?
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