Friday, August 2, 2013

Drug Use: When to Wage War and When to Regulate

In a recent story done by the AP, New Zealand is looking to regulate the market on designer drugs with the goal to make them safer for those using them. See the article here:http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_NEW_ZEALAND_LEGAL_HIGHS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-02-03-43-32 Now, the new law doesn't legalize marijuana or cocaine; rather the intent is to force designer drug makers - which was illegal prior to the law - to adhere to the same regulatory body that pharmaceutical companies do.

Let's face it, the "War on Drugs" has been a global failure. At the same time the drug trade has illustrated to perfection the lucrative money one can make in a free market; granted this free market is the Black Market. The violence witnessed in Mexico and along the US/Mexico border is over the illegal trafficking of drugs. Fields of poppy litter the landscape of the Middle East all in an effort to raise funds for the warlords in the region.

While I am not a drug user nor do I promote the use of abortion as a method of birth control, I recognize the limitations and markets government makes when waging war or making something illegal. Early in the 20th Century America saw the rise of the Mafia mainly due to the prohibiting of alcohol. Some have argued that the side effects and social ills of alcohol differ little to illicit drugs. Not to mention that prescription drugs are a hot commodity and have the same harmful impact if misused as illicit drugs.

The sky will not fall, drug use will not rise dramatically and chaos will not reign in the streets if countries adopt a more regulated approach to illicit drugs. Now, I am typically a proponent to government intervention into the Free Market or our private lives. When the drug trade fills to coffers of those that deem us harm and if regulation can bring about a safer product  then I am open to the notion of government intervention. Often times people confuse the concept of limited government as no government and that is simply not a honest assessment of the thought process.

New Zealand is onto something here and I hope our government will take notice. We have already seen a few states legalize recreational use of marijuana with little public disruption. Perhaps it is time to take a deeper look into all drug use.