So obviously today was 420. I’m guessing some of you are still up in the clouds somewhere, which means this post is either going to make an overwhelming amount of sense or none at all.
A friend pointed me to this forbes article: Let’s be Blunt
Long story short, the article aims to showcase that it makes more economic sense to NOT regulate drugs because it’s a war that can’t be won. We are doing more harm by introducing underground rings, seizure of property and the whole rest of it.
But how much sense does this article make? Sure, for rational people regulation is stupid, they probably wouldn’t shoot cocaine or down E on a regular basis even if it was legal. They certainly would not go to their pretentious high paying jobs perpetually under the infuence. So having deregulation doesn’t really change much.
So what about stupid people? Yes, it can be argued they will be stupid no matter what, with or without regulation. But regulation sends an important message that the substance can impair doing regular activities. And for stupid people, the easier you make understanding something (such as a clear NO) the easier it is received, albeit still somewhat mediocrely. Even if you aren’t stupid, what if you have a lapse of judgement as even rational people are prone to have once in a while?
The economic question is does Expenditure for Regulation < Opportunity Cost of Deregulation? If so, then obviously regulation is a good thing. If not, then obviously it isn’t.
In my opinion, there still needs to be partial regulation, seeing as deregulation means that people can get high when it isn’t really in the greater social benefit. For example, would you like your doctor to be high? The ambulance driver bringing your family member to the hospital?
There is a ceiling for Expenditure for Regulation (the amount of money/resources the government is willing to outlay combatting drugs). However, the opportunity cost of deregulation doesn’t have a ceiling. Essentially it would be controlled by culture, and the cost could either be sky high (major societal problems) or none at all.
So what is the root issue? Risk. Is the government willing to risk the outcome of deregulation? It is not a matter of the drug being harmful or not, it is whether as politicians how much risk they are willing to manage on the issue, and they do this by altering regulation.
The drug is sometimes harmful and sometimes harmless to society, that’s really not the issue. The issue is the system and the amount of risk it is willing to bear for the issue.
Happy 420, Cheers!