Drug Dealing: Not a Victimless Crime

 

My Ricochet profile includes a statement of principles. In part:

On economics, I support maximizing liberty under the minimum law needed for
informed, consensual exchanges. There is no truly free trade or truly neutral
government.

On social issues I am a 1st Amendment absolutist, nearly. I support the death
penalty but abhor its modern medicalization. Re-legalize unhybridized marijuana, powder cocaine and opium, as the black market created by the drug war has cost enough. Reduce harm, don’t create a market for it.

So, I am not a Drug Warrior. Yet, within the call for a harm reduction strategy is the recognition that the illegal trade is not victimless. This past week, two local incidents, within a block of each other, made real the significant harm to third parties.

A week ago Monday, 10 December 2018, a woman drove her car into a Mesa, Arizona, Subway shop. A local station, Fox10 Phoenix, gave a brief account:

According to crews at the scene, the incident happened at a Subway store near Main Street and Dobson. Police say impairment is suspected on the driver, but she is not in custody, pending test results.

(Courtesy: May Phan)

This Subway is the end cap of a small shopping strip which has struggled to come back over the past decade. The hourly sub shop workers are victims of this accident. The Chinese restaurant and the Korean coffee shops next door have the blight of a boarded-up shop next door. What has this to do with the Drug Wars?

The staff at a cigar lounge across the parking lot talked with the police who responded to the crash. See the line in the news story about “pending test results?” Apparently, the woman who drove the car up over a high curb, and all the way into the Subway, was unrecognizable from her two years old driver’s license photograph. The crash did not destroy her face; she showed the ravages unique to methamphetamine.

I heard this account as I was talking with another customer and the staff about the second incident. This one was not victimless either. Close to midnight on Saturday, 10 December, I was driving along the light rail line in Mesa. I saw the first two sets of blue and red lights pulled off near a small independent convenience store. Officers were lined up on either side of the door, preparing to enter.

By the time I pulled into safe parking and got my camera out, two ambulances and a small fleet of cops were there. I spoke to a younger man who told me his father had been working in the back of the store. Another man was working the register at the front. A gunman entered the very small space and the employee apparently closed in, grappling. The employee and another man, a customer, perhaps, were shot. The father, unarmed, had run out and across the street to his son’s apartment, telling what he saw.

The Z’s Convenience shooting warranted only a brief mention in the news, as the gunman was at large.

Mesa Police say a possible robbery gone bad left one person dead and another injured.

Another patron at the cigar lounge expressed the range of reactions as we talked. “Give up the cash, it isn’t worth it.” “If you get the chance, take the gunman down.” He claimed to have been in two such confrontations, in small businesses in another city. He was shot once and another time seized and pummeled a gunman, feeling ribs give way under his fist while his wife grabbed the gun away.

The common denominator in these low-payoff robberies? Men desperate for just enough cash to get their next fix, and working, lower-middle-class victims. You can see this from the simple memorial that friends put up next to the convenience store.

Any grand strategy, any policy recommendation, that fails to account for the direct and indirect ravages of substance abuse is not worth the electrons transmitting it. In this particular location, a completely independent set of policies may have elevated the risks. Supposed urban renewal and enlightened planning may be neither enlightened nor really renewal.

I mentioned the light rail line, running down the center of the street. This impoverished the already marginal businesses, as half the traffic on the street cannot cross the protected rail line. At the same time, the line became a conveyor belt for drug addicts and homeless people, dumping them out into places where they could hang out.

Indeed, the city recognized this problem belatedly and changed the bus stops from bench seating to individual seats with steel tube armrests. That keeps vagrants from sleeping on benches under cover. Nevertheless, there are mini-parks and other grassy areas where people camp out between drug fixes.

So, have grand transportation policy and drug policy combined to concentrate risks to local residents? There are plenty of photographs from across the country of cars driven into buildings. The city block under consideration is not a regular target of armed robbers. Yet, the risks are clearly elevated, to the extent that economically marginal drug users congregate in clusters along the easiest transportation line. That was not urban planners’ intent, but it appears to be a result.

Too often, casualties go unmarked, even in the local press. The simple memorial for the murdered man started with prayer candles, a few flowers, cards, and a full sized teddy bear with a little teddy bear. A night later, there were more candles, more flowers, and a photograph. So now we have a face to put in our thoughts and prayers.

There are 43 comments.

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  1. RightAngles Member

    I agree with you on this.

    • #1
    • December 18, 2018, at 9:00 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    The more that government acts, the more it warps the culture and world.

    • #2
    • December 18, 2018, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. RightAngles Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The more that government acts, the more it warps the culture and world.

    Unintended consequences every time.

    • #3
    • December 18, 2018, at 9:21 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    I stopped by the little memorial this evening when I saw it had grown. From that stop, I took the last photograph, adding it and the final paragraph. Thanks to @rightangles Be a Stock Photographer Like Me! Eliminating Boredom for inspiring me to break the DSLR camera out of storage a month ago. I got the night shots with a compositing shot mode, combining 4 rapid shots into one steady image with the right light levels.

    • #4
    • December 18, 2018, at 10:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Hartmann von Aue Member

    You are right about this. @rightangles thinks this is another case of unintended consequences but I am not so sure. It seems to be more a case of “we know quite well what to expect and don’t give a [colorful CoC violation]. 

    • #5
    • December 19, 2018, at 12:21 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    And thus, I am against legalization of drugs. As are most people who treat addiction. 

     

    • #6
    • December 19, 2018, at 4:44 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. Stina Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    I stopped by the little memorial this evening when I saw it had grown. From that stop, I took the last photograph, adding it and the final paragraph. Thanks to @rightangles Be a Stock Photographer Like Me! Eliminating Boredom for inspiring me to break the DSLR camera out of storage a month ago. I got the night shots with a compositing shot mode, combining 4 rapid shots into one steady image with the right light levels.

    A new, independent journalist/reporter?

    They are great pictures, especially the last one.

    • #7
    • December 19, 2018, at 4:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Bethany Mandel Editor

    My dad was an addict. Victimless crime, indeed it is not.

    • #8
    • December 19, 2018, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  9. Flicker Inactive

    How do libertarians address this?

    • #9
    • December 19, 2018, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Stina Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    How do libertarians address this?

    Not effectively. I haven’t really seen any admission that drug addiction doesn’t have 2nd order victims or more.

    But many of the libertarian arguments fail in this respect. They assume a great number of people doing whatever they want will not have an effect on society or culture.

    Granted, this is the left-libertarian view.

    The right-libertarian view generally wishes the government not to interfere with the individual doing what they believe is right. I still don’t know if they make any arguments for societal impact on large numbers of individuals freely choosing the same thing, especially as the moral code held by individuals changes, mutates, and becomes more diverse.

    • #10
    • December 19, 2018, at 7:38 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Stina (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    How do libertarians address this?

    Not effectively. I haven’t really seen any admission that drug addiction doesn’t have 2nd order victims or more.

    But many of the libertarian arguments fail in this respect. They assume a great number of people doing whatever they want will not have an effect on society or culture.

    Granted, this is the left-libertarian view.

    The right-libertarian view generally wishes the government not to interfere with the individual doing what they believe is right. I still don’t know if they make any arguments for societal impact on large numbers of individuals freely choosing the same thing, especially as the moral code held by individuals changes, mutates, and becomes more diverse.

    Free men should be able to make their own choices and lose or profit thereby. 

    Addicts are not free men. 

    • #11
    • December 19, 2018, at 7:54 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Flicker Inactive

    TBA (View Comment):

    Free men should be able to make their own choices and lose or profit thereby.

    Addicts are not free men.

    I’m not sure I’d agree. What about people who are inadvertently addicted to pain pills from surgery or something. Is he no longer free to make choices? What about quadriplegics who need a ventilator to live, at the dependence upon others? Should they be not allowed to vote? What about people addicted to nicotine? They can’t go a day without it. They’re functional, but they’re no more “free” than any other addict. If you’re extraordinarily wealthy and addicted to narcotics, and never have to leave your own compound, you have no car, and your man always does your shopping and cleaning? Should I lose my right to choose?

    Criminals: I do think that convicted criminals should not be free and should not be making their own choices.

    • #12
    • December 19, 2018, at 8:12 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Clifford, thanks for a thoughtful post.

    My impression is that you remain a proponent of drug legalization, at least for certain drugs — unhybridized marijuana, powder cocaine and opium. You recognize that such legalization is not without costs. I have some follow-up questions about this.

    Do you oppose legalization of drugs that you do not list? For example, do you oppose legalization of meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and hybridized marijuana? I assume that this is correct by application of the expresio unius principle, but this is only an assumption.

    Do you agree that drug legalization would likely increase use of the legalized drug(s)? If so, do you rely on any information that would quantify such an increase?

    Is a cost-benefit analysis the basis for your position regarding the legalization of some drugs but not others? If so, what is the empirical evidence of costs and benefits on which you rely?

    Do you factor the issue of addiction into your analysis? My impression is that the effects of some — perhaps all — currently illegal drugs are such that they overpower the ability of users to make rational decisions. I acknowledge that this may be true to a greater or lesser extent for different users.

     

    • #13
    • December 19, 2018, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Mark Camp Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Free men should be able to make their own choices and lose or profit thereby.

    Addicts are not free men.

    I agree. There is an Misesian economic analog to this definition and normative law. Acting man prospers by his actions: free markets tend to maximize prosperity. An invalid or child isn’t acting man. He or she only prospers by the actions of his or her provider.

    In Mises’s economics, acting man providing for a needy person or child is simply pursuing the satisfaction of his wants, just as if he/she were buying food for himself or herself. The recipient is not considered an economic agent at all; he is outside the realm of economics.

    • #14
    • December 19, 2018, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Flicker (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Free men should be able to make their own choices and lose or profit thereby.

    Addicts are not free men.

    I’m not sure I’d agree. What about people who are inadvertently addicted to pain pills from surgery or something. Is he no longer free to make choices? What about quadriplegics who need a ventilator to live, at the dependence upon others? Should they be not allowed to vote? What about people addicted to nicotine? They can’t go a day without it. They’re functional, but they’re no more “free” than any other addict. If you’re extraordinarily wealthy and addicted to narcotics, and never have to leave your own compound, you have no car, and your man always does your shopping and cleaning? Should I lose my right to choose?

    Criminals: I do think that convicted criminals should not be free and should not be making their own choices.

    All reasonable questions. My comment was more in the nature of a way to look at drugs and Libertarianism that an actual policy proposal. 

    Addiction in its worst forms is dehumanizing and Libertarians presume human agency. 

    • #15
    • December 19, 2018, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Full Size Tabby Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    How do libertarians address this?

    I have heard some acknowledge that legalization of drugs will result in an increase in misuse, and that there is a social cost to that increased drug misuse, but that the social cost of such increased drug misuse will be less than the current costs of policing and criminal activity (burglary, robbery, etc.) currently associated with illegal drug use.

    Points of disagreement tend to revolve around how much drug misuse will increase, how much of current police costs and crime are driven by the illegality of drug use, and how much those costs really will go down if drug use were not criminal. 

    • #16
    • December 19, 2018, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. GrannyDude Member

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):
    Do you factor the issue of addiction into your analysis? My impression is that the effects of some — perhaps all — currently illegal drugs are such that they overpower the ability of users to make rational decisions. I acknowledge that this may be true to a greater or lesser extent for different users.

    For the addict, the neurochemistry is pitiless and ferocious. 

    I lost sympathy for “non-violent drug offenders” when I responded to the death of a mentally ill and drug addicted young man. With a superhuman effort (his own and his family’s) he managed to get clean. He was in recovery. He went to his Narcotics Anonymous meeting, where he met….ta-dah! A drug dealer. They hang out at N.A. meetings because…customers. Who cares about their recovery when there is money to be made?

    The dealer persuaded him to buy something. Nonviolently.

    It killed him. 

    I hope that dealer is in prison someplace. 

    • #17
    • December 19, 2018, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    TBA (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    How do libertarians address this?

    Not effectively. I haven’t really seen any admission that drug addiction doesn’t have 2nd order victims or more.

    But many of the libertarian arguments fail in this respect. They assume a great number of people doing whatever they want will not have an effect on society or culture.

    Granted, this is the left-libertarian view.

    The right-libertarian view generally wishes the government not to interfere with the individual doing what they believe is right. I still don’t know if they make any arguments for societal impact on large numbers of individuals freely choosing the same thing, especially as the moral code held by individuals changes, mutates, and becomes more diverse.

    Free men should be able to make their own choices and lose or profit thereby.

    Addicts are not free men.

    Oh and how! 100% agreement here!

    • #18
    • December 19, 2018, at 12:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    My dad was an addict. Victimless crime, indeed it is not.

    The number one victims being the addicts themselves. 

    Did your dad ever get to recovery, Bethany?

    • #19
    • December 19, 2018, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    How do libertarians address this?

    I have heard some acknowledge that legalization of drugs will result in an increase in misuse, and that there is a social cost to that increased drug misuse, but that the social cost of such increased drug misuse will be less than the current costs of policing and criminal activity (burglary, robbery, etc.) currently associated with illegal drug use.

    Points of disagreement tend to revolve around how much drug misuse will increase, how much of current police costs and crime are driven by the illegality of drug use, and how much those costs really will go down if drug use were not criminal.

    Most refused to even acknowledge the trade off, or else all they care about if getting to light up.

    • #20
    • December 19, 2018, at 12:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Flicker Inactive

    I don’t know much about drugs and recidivism and such, but in general I view drug taking and its addiction properties, legally speaking, as akin to suicide; physically, culturally, socially and within the family. The laws against suicide are more than just moral or vaguely cultural in nature; outlawing suicide outlaws anyone’s conspiracy to get someone to commit suicide in lieu of committing outright murder.

    In other words, goading someone into suicide is not murder so long as suicide is legal, but goading them into an illegal suicide is criminal. If I’m wrong on this please let me know the law. Thanks.

    • #21
    • December 19, 2018, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Clifford, thanks for a thoughtful post.

    My impression is that you remain a proponent of drug legalization, at least for certain drugs — unhybridized marijuana, powder cocaine and opium. You recognize that such legalization is not without costs. I have some follow-up questions about this.

    Do you oppose legalization of drugs that you do not list? For example, do you oppose legalization of meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and hybridized marijuana? I assume that this is correct by application of the expresio unius principle, but this is only an assumption.

    Do you agree that drug legalization would likely increase use of the legalized drug(s)? If so, do you rely on any information that would quantify such an increase?

    Is a cost-benefit analysis the basis for your position regarding the legalization of some drugs but not others? If so, what is the empirical evidence of costs and benefits on which you rely?

    Do you factor the issue of addiction into your analysis? My impression is that the effects of some — perhaps all — currently illegal drugs are such that they overpower the ability of users to make rational decisions. I acknowledge that this may be true to a greater or lesser extent for different users.

     

    As to the first question, you can see from my profile quote the answer is yes. 

    As to the second, not necessarily. See alcohol Prohibition. Average consumption after re-legalization of alcohol was, and still is, lower than pre-Prohibition consumption.

    As to the third, my basis is the apparent success of the British gin taxes, changing behavior through price signals, and the lower level of crime and personal destruction in the days of legal opium, powder cocaine, and non-hybridized marijuana, relative to the same negative effects in a prohibition environment.

    As to the final question, there have always been alcoholics and addicts. What this story does is put a face on some of the destruction attendant to addiction in the context of our current culture and policies. I told the story as a caution towards any proposed policy, including re-legalization of pre-prohibition substances.

     

    • #22
    • December 19, 2018, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. Manny Member

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Clifford, thanks for a thoughtful post.

    My impression is that you remain a proponent of drug legalization, at least for certain drugs — unhybridized marijuana, powder cocaine and opium. You recognize that such legalization is not without costs. I have some follow-up questions about this.

    Do you oppose legalization of drugs that you do not list? For example, do you oppose legalization of meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and hybridized marijuana? I assume that this is correct by application of the expresio unius principle, but this is only an assumption.

    Do you agree that drug legalization would likely increase use of the legalized drug(s)? If so, do you rely on any information that would quantify such an increase?

    Is a cost-benefit analysis the basis for your position regarding the legalization of some drugs but not others? If so, what is the empirical evidence of costs and benefits on which you rely?

    Do you factor the issue of addiction into your analysis? My impression is that the effects of some — perhaps all — currently illegal drugs are such that they overpower the ability of users to make rational decisions. I acknowledge that this may be true to a greater or lesser extent for different users.

     

    The legalization of anything increases use. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. The question is whether the cost of controls and policing out weighs the damage. 

    • #23
    • December 19, 2018, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Manny (View Comment):

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Clifford, thanks for a thoughtful post.

    My impression is that you remain a proponent of drug legalization, at least for certain drugs — unhybridized marijuana, powder cocaine and opium. You recognize that such legalization is not without costs. I have some follow-up questions about this.

    Do you oppose legalization of drugs that you do not list? For example, do you oppose legalization of meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and hybridized marijuana? I assume that this is correct by application of the expresio unius principle, but this is only an assumption.

    Do you agree that drug legalization would likely increase use of the legalized drug(s)? If so, do you rely on any information that would quantify such an increase?

    Is a cost-benefit analysis the basis for your position regarding the legalization of some drugs but not others? If so, what is the empirical evidence of costs and benefits on which you rely?

    Do you factor the issue of addiction into your analysis? My impression is that the effects of some — perhaps all — currently illegal drugs are such that they overpower the ability of users to make rational decisions. I acknowledge that this may be true to a greater or lesser extent for different users.

     

    The legalization of anything increases use. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. The question is whether the cost of controls and policing out weighs the damage.

    It ain’t necessarily so. Alcohol re-legalization did not result in consumption rates increasing above pre-Prohibition levels. And the cost of controls, policing, black markets, contempt for law, corruption… all matter. And the ravages of addiction to some dreadful substances, and attendant crime and destruction all matter. 

    Hence this OP.

    • #24
    • December 19, 2018, at 10:29 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Thing is, the costs aren’t easily quantifiable. 

    • #25
    • December 19, 2018, at 11:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Manny Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Clifford, thanks for a thoughtful post.

    My impression is that you remain a proponent of drug legalization, at least for certain drugs — unhybridized marijuana, powder cocaine and opium. You recognize that such legalization is not without costs. I have some follow-up questions about this.

    Do you oppose legalization of drugs that you do not list? For example, do you oppose legalization of meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and hybridized marijuana? I assume that this is correct by application of the expresio unius principle, but this is only an assumption.

    Do you agree that drug legalization would likely increase use of the legalized drug(s)? If so, do you rely on any information that would quantify such an increase?

    Is a cost-benefit analysis the basis for your position regarding the legalization of some drugs but not others? If so, what is the empirical evidence of costs and benefits on which you rely?

    Do you factor the issue of addiction into your analysis? My impression is that the effects of some — perhaps all — currently illegal drugs are such that they overpower the ability of users to make rational decisions. I acknowledge that this may be true to a greater or lesser extent for different users.

     

    The legalization of anything increases use. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. The question is whether the cost of controls and policing out weighs the damage.

    It ain’t necessarily so. Alcohol re-legalization did not result in consumption rates increasing above pre-Prohibition levels. And the cost of controls, policing, black markets, contempt for law, corruption… all matter. And the ravages of addiction to some dreadful substances, and attendant crime and destruction all matter.

    Hence this OP.

    The Libertarians always point to alcohol. However alcohol is a special case. Alcohol was and is consumed in some fashion by some 80% of the population, goes back in the culture thousands of years, and is used in religious ceremonies. A better comparison would be cigarettes. Look at what has happened to smoking as taxes have gone dramatically up and convenience of where to smoke has been made difficult. Trust me, cigarette smoking is not down because of cancer warnings. Are you saying pot smoking has not gone up where it is legal?

    • #26
    • December 20, 2018, at 12:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Unsk Member

    Damn right Clifford! The effects of addiction are enormous and ruining the lives of millions of people.

    • #27
    • December 20, 2018, at 6:46 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Arahant Member

    Manny (View Comment):
    Are you saying pot smoking has not gone up where it is legal?

    It is obvious that is not what he has said.

    • #28
    • December 20, 2018, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. milkchaser Member

    The problem with this argument is that it presumes that the nuttiness of the murderer/shooter was primarily caused by his desire to fund a drug purchase via robbery. While the urge to use drugs may have contributed to that nuttiness, it was almost certainly not the sole or even primary cause. We know this because millions of people use various illegal drugs every day without resorting to robbery or murder or even attempted murder.

    Suppose the robbery had been successful. Having used a portion of the loot to buy some drugs, what would he have done with the rest? Would he have bought a six-pack? a pack of cigs? a candy bar? If he did not devote 100% of the loot to buying drugs, then we can also legitimately say that candy bars addle the brain and cause fatal robberies.

    Of course, that would be silly. We indict drugs alone as the impetus for the robbery because, primarily, we know that most people who buy candy bars or cigarettes do not commit robbery. But the same is true of drug users.

    But, you might argue, the cost of drugs is much higher than cigarettes and candy, therefore drugs were the primary impetus. However, that just tells us that the black market, besides driving down the quality and safety of the product, also raises its price to a level that inspires felony. People will commit robberies to buy booze, but because the price is reasonable, it happens less often.

    I am concerned about the safety of drug users primarily because my son died of a fentanyl overdose. No one told him his heroin was laced with poison. Dealers never tell. They often don’t know. They pretty much don’t care either.

    Make it safe. Bring the price down. Distribute it through licensed, trained dealers. Sell only enough for immediate use and, if necessary, supervise its use. Drug users needlessly risk their lives just to get high. We can save their lives if we care about their lives more than they do.

    • #29
    • January 3, 2019, at 5:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    milkchaser (View Comment):

    The problem with this argument is that it presumes that the nuttiness of the murderer/shooter was primarily caused by his desire to fund a drug purchase via robbery. While the urge to use drugs may have contributed to that nuttiness, it was almost certainly not the sole or even primary cause. We know this because millions of people use various illegal drugs every day without resorting to robbery or murder or even attempted murder.

    Suppose the robbery had been successful. Having used a portion of the loot to buy some drugs, what would he have done with the rest? Would he have bought a six-pack? a pack of cigs? a candy bar? If he did not devote 100% of the loot to buying drugs, then we can also legitimately say that candy bars addle the brain and cause fatal robberies.

    Of course, that would be silly. We indict drugs alone as the impetus for the robbery because, primarily, we know that most people who buy candy bars or cigarettes do not commit robbery. But the same is true of drug users.

    But, you might argue, the cost of drugs is much higher than cigarettes and candy, therefore drugs were the primary impetus. However, that just tells us that the black market, besides driving down the quality and safety of the product, also raises its price to a level that inspires felony. People will commit robberies to buy booze, but because the price is reasonable, it happens less often.

    I am concerned about the safety of drug users primarily because my son died of a fentanyl overdose. No one told him his heroin was laced with poison. Dealers never tell. They often don’t know. They pretty much don’t care either.

    Make it safe. Bring the price down. Distribute it through licensed, trained dealers. Sell only enough for immediate use and, if necessary, supervise its use. Drug users needlessly risk their lives just to get high. We can save their lives if we care about their lives more than they do.

    I am very sorry you lost your son to an overdose from a poison pusher. You are right as to drug dealers selling what they claim to be one substance when it is laced with all manner of other dangerous substances. See again my first paragraph. See also “Any grand strategy, any policy recommendation,…”

    • #30
    • January 3, 2019, at 10:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
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