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Washington Post discusses economic case for heroin legalization

January 8, 2013
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This is basic economics that we’ve been aware of, well, forever, but it’s rarely discussed in mainstream media regarding the drug war.

The economic case for decriminalizing heroin

Here’s the kicker: if drugs sold for that price after taxes in an environment where drugs are legalized, they’d still be cheaper than drugs sold on the black market. So the legal market would drive illegal producers out of business, there wouldn’t be any of the enforcement costs — including huge social costs like mass incarceration — that come with drug prohibition, the government would gain considerable new tax revenue, and because the price is the same, consumption of drugs wouldn’t be any different than under prohibition. In short, the best form of prohibition is still worse than legalize-and-tax.

The wording needs some minor tweaks, but the principle is absolutely on track.

Nice to see something like this in the Washington Post.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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