The effect of drug laws

“Take a substance which is in nature, abundant, cheap and addictive. Its addictive properties make it a seller’s dream. Its only drawback is its easy availability: there is no profit in it. 

Pass against the selling, production, cultivation, consumption or possession of that substance the most stringent laws. Instantly, by virtue of being illegal, the substance becomes rare and expensive. The law itself has created a situation in which there is an enormous, in fact incalculable, profit to be made by getting people hooked, children for example, who would otherwise have no reason even to consider narcotics.”

-Renata Adler in National Times 25/2/1978

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