Milton Friedman, economist, wrote the following as an open letter to
former Drug Czar, Bill Bennett:
Had drugs been decriminalized 17 years ago, crack would never have been
invented (it was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it
profitable to provide a cheaper version) Crack cocain is extreamly addictive but there are centers that treat crack addiction.
Richard Cowan wrote of what he calls the iron law of prohibition in The
The more intense the law enforcement, the more potent the drugs. If
a dealer can smuggle only one suitcase full of drugs ... which would he
be carrying - marijuana, coca leaves, cocaine, or crack? He gets more dollars
for the bulk if he carries more potent drugs. The same thing happened during
prohibition; the production of beer declined while spirits accounted for
a larger part of total alcohol consumption. When one advocates drug legalization,
a standard question is, "Well, marijuana is one thing, maybe even
cocaine, but are you seriously saying you would legalize crack?" The
answer is that crack is almost entirely a product of prohibition. It probably
would not exist if drugs had been legal for the past 20 years.
This was the first time that the effects of prohibition were tested.
This is when, as a direct result of opium prohibition, heroin was marketed
and the drug pusher was born. Selling illegal narcotics had never before
been considered a source of income. There was now a vested interest in inducting
Heroin is crystallized morphine. It is more potent and addictive, less
bulky and more easily concealed. Drug addicts were (and still are) exiled
from society. Deaths of users were unheard-of before the pushers took over.
Users were excluded from decent employment and forced into contact with
When it became obvious that opium prohibition backfired, we continued
to try to suppress opiates and sweep the problem under the rug. People who
fell into the dealers traps became sicker and sicker, beginning a self-fulfilling
History Lesson #8: When a substance
is made illegal, a newer, more potent (and more dangerous) form will inevitably