A genuine debate that recognizes the complexities and uncertainties that inevitably surround the notion of drug legalization is long overdue. Not only would this deter people from making the kind of flippant, if not frivolous, claims – both for and against – that have permeated previous legalization debates, but it could also inspire a broader and equally critical assessment of current U.S. drug control programs and priorities. None of this should deter further analysis of drug legalization. In particular, a rigorous assessment of a set of hypothetical regulatory regimes against a common set of variables would clarify their potential costs, benefits and trade-offs. In addition to the rigour required in any future discussion of the alternative to legalization, such an analysis could foster the same level of scrutiny of current drug control programs and policies. With the situation deteriorating in the United States and abroad, there is no better time for a fundamental reassessment of whether our current responses to this problem are sufficient to meet the likely challenges. The next film, DrugFree Idaho`s Chronic State, documents the impact of marijuana legalization and normalization on local communities: Unsurprisingly, the broader international implications of drug legalization have also gone largely unnoticed. Here, too, there are still long questions that need to be answered. Given the long-standing situation in the United States.
How would a decision to legalize drugs as the main sponsor of international drug control measures affect other countries? What will happen to the overall regime of multilateral conventions and bilateral agreements? Will each nation have to comply with a new set of rules? If not, what would happen? Would more permissive countries suddenly be flooded with drugs and addicts, or would drug traffickers focus on countries where stricter restrictions have kept profits higher? This is not an abstract issue. The Netherlands` liberal drug policy has attracted an influx of “drug tourists” from neighboring countries, as has the now-abandoned city of Zurich after the now-abandoned experiment that allowed an open drug market in the so-called “needle park.” And while it is conceivable that rich countries can mitigate the worst consequences of drug legalization through extensive public drug prevention and treatment programs, what about the poorest countries? Proponents of legalization admit that consumption would likely increase, but counter that it is not clear that the increase would be very large or time-consuming, especially if legalization were paired with appropriate public education programs. They, too, cite historical evidence to support their claims, noting that opium, heroin, and cocaine use had already begun to decline before prohibition went into effect, that alcohol consumption did not suddenly increase after prohibition was repealed, and that the decriminalization of cannabis use in 11 U.S. states in the 1970s did not lead to a dramatic increase in use. Some also point to the legal sale of cannabis products through regulated outlets in the Netherlands, which also does not appear to have significantly encouraged consumption by Dutch nationals. Opinion polls showing that most Americans would not rush to try previously banned drugs that suddenly became available are also being used to bolster the case for legalization. But if these “reforms” do not make all illicit drugs available at low prices to all willing buyers, there will be a large and destructive illicit market for these addictive substances. Indeed, by reducing the legal and other pressures that reject illicit drug use, these “reforms” will all increase illicit drug use, and with this increase will come the harm it causes. In addition, legal drugs, i.e. alcohol and nicotine, bad models of legalization.
Tax revenues from these drugs are dwarfed by their social and health care costs. The same goes for marijuana and any other illegal drug. Finally, what would happen to major suppliers of illicit drugs if restrictions on the commercial sale of these drugs were lifted in some or all major markets? Would trafficking organizations adapt and become legal businesses or turn to other illegal businesses? What would happen to the countries of origin? Would they benefit, or would new producers and manufacturers suddenly emerge elsewhere? Such questions have not even been systematically asked, let alone seriously studied. This study used an analysis of differences in differences in phased implementation of CRL across 11 states to compare changes in outcomes between CRL and non-CRL states. This study used crowdsourced data from Price of Weed and StreetRx on the price and quality of illicit drugs, which can be prone to sampling errors and bias. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show the gap between the use of legal drugs (alcohol, tobacco and increasingly marijuana) and illicit drugs. Among Americans 12 and older, about 51 percent have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, while about 21 percent have used tobacco. The percentage of those who used marijuana is almost 12%, which is considerably higher than those who used opioids (1%) or cocaine (0.7%). Legalization could be good for state workers` compensation programs – a new working paper by economists Rahi Abouk, Keshar M.
Ghimire, Johanna Catherine Maclean, and David Powell note that states that have legalized recreational marijuana have seen significant declines in the use of their workers` compensation plans. They estimate that the number of workers aged 40 to 62 who received income from workers dropped by about 20% after legalization. There is evidence that the reason for this decline is that marijuana offers “an additional form of pain management” that reduces the use of opioids, which can be highly addictive and much more debilitating. The effect of marijuana on reducing opioid abuse has been documented in other studies. But throwing nearly a century of prohibition overboard when the supposed benefits remain so uncertain and the potential costs are so high would require a Herculean leap of faith.