Utah Politics/Region

Art Pollard pollarda at lextek.com
Thu Feb 3 14:12:57 MST 2005


>note that the study didnt indicate whether or not the crime was violent or
>not - but it's interesting that folks high on marijuana seem to be
>committing (or at least getting convicted of) more crime than folks high on
>crack.

Well, yea. If you are high on heroine or crack, how able are you to get 
down the street to the local grocery store to commit a crime.  Odds are you 
are layed up at home (or in an alley) until the buzz wears off.

What Switzerland did is that they legalized drugs.  The catch is that they 
could only be administered in a public health facility.  Hits were about 
$3.00.  They were overseen by a nurse and were taken within the 
facility.  White walls, white tables, white chairs -- no posters.

What it did was a number of different things:

1) Took the glamor out of it.
2) Took the incentive for the dealers to get people hooked. (Dealers will 
often give people free drugs until they are hooked. But it makes little 
sense for the dealer to do this if the person can simply go down the street 
and get their hit for three bucks.  This resulted in a reduction in the 
number of people who were newly addicted..
3) It allowed people who were hooked to actually be able to get a job and 
get into a treatment program since they didn't have to spend all day trying 
to figure out how they were going to get their next hit. (And committing 
crimes to get money for their next hit.)  A significant number of the 
crimes committed by druggies come from their desperation to find enough 
money to get their next hit. (And of course, it has to be a significant 
amount of money since these things aren't cheap.)
4) Because of the treatment programs, there was a huge drop in the number 
of people addicted.

They reported that a number of parks where junkies used to hang out and 
which was dangerous for people to visit were now clean and most all of the 
junkies that used to live in the park had managed to get themselves (and 
their lives) cleaned up.

There is nothing that can destroy the free market for a product like 
government.  So, if we really want to destroy the market for these drugs we 
allow the government to participate as a monopoly.  It will be short order 
before the market is fully destroyed.

-Art

-- 
Art Pollard
http://www.lextek.com/
Suppliers of High Performance Text Retrieval Engines.



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