It's a canard to say that the profit motive will be removed if it's legalized. In fact, if there was no profit motive, no one would do it at allWhen you outlaw a behavior, be it drugs, prostitution, gambling, or other so called "vices", you do not eliminate the demand for that service, but you do restrict the supply.What happens when the demand for something stays constant and the supply shrinks? The price goes up.Now, in the case of drugs, the cost of manufacturing the drugs is a small fraction of the eventual street price, even accounting for losses incurred due to enforcement actions. When the supply is artificially restricted, or perceived to be, the price skyrockets, and so do the available profits.Who gets those profits? Well, the folks who are willing to break the law to provide the drugs - criminal gangs and terrorists.What happens when competing gangs try to expand their market share? Street violence.So, vigorous enforcement of anti-drug laws creates and strengthens criminal gangs and results in a sharp increase in street violence. At the same time, is causes an explosion in the prison population, filling the prisons with minor offenders, driving up societal costs and taking up space that should be filled by more dangerous criminals. That doesn't sound like a winning strategy to me.I won't even get into the effect on Liberty other than to say an individual should be able to do whatever they want with their body and the government should keep out of it.Frankly, the same is true with the other topics in this thread: prostitution, abortion, and gambling. In a free society, people can do what they wish with their bodies, provided they are willing to bear the consequences of their actions.Want to visit a prostitute? Fine...if it's worth risking your wife leaving you and never seeing your kids again, go ahead. You're free to make that choice.Want to gamble? Fine...if you are okay with losing everything and disrupting your family, who am I to tell you no.Drugs? Same answer.A person can't claim to be part of a free society and then want to use the laws to enforce his personal moral code. What an individual does for or too himself is his business and nobody else's. Laws that interfere with that diminish freedom. In the case of the laws in question here, they not only diminish freedom, but put a strain on the fabric of society by increasing the worst sort of crime and imposing enormous costs for little benefit.All things considered, I think I'll come down on the side of individual freedom here.Ooops...Have to go. The prostitute I picked up at the casino just stole my crack pipe.Steve
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