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You can't convince me that the unregulated and free market by itself is going to eliminate 'bad or dangerous drugs', especially since in the legal marketplace, it hasn't eliminated bad or dangerous products.

No libertarian of whom I am aware ever claimed the free market would eliminate all bad things in life, whether they are bad drugs, bad schools, crime, etc. You are correct on this point.
Libertarians make the more modest claim that there would be fewer of these bad things in a free market, that their consequences generally would not be as bad, and, very importantly, that the deleterious effects of governmental attempts to mitigate the bad consequences of these things would be eliminated. That's all.
If we had a libertarian society, there would be bad drugs, bad schools, "bad" crime (as if some crime is not bad), bad food, bad movies, and -- believe it or not -- bad baseball teams, no names mentioned.

Tobacco is clearly a dangerous and deadly drug - definitively linked to cancer, emphezema, and premature death.

Some people smoke and don't get these illnesses. For example, T.S. Eliot was a four-pack-a day man, but his autopsy supposedly revealed lungs in excellent condition for his age. Even if we accept the NIH agitprop regarding smoking, people have a natural right to smoke.

The term "coffin nail" to describe smokes dates from the 19th century, and it was well known then that smoking was problematic for your health.
Between 1890 and 1930, 15 states enacted laws to ban the sale, manufacture, possession, and/or use of cigarettes, and 22 states considered similar legislation. The anti-smoking crusade is very old in this country and even older in Europe. See Cassandra Tate, _Cigarette Wars: The Triumph of 'the Little White Slaver'_ (1999).

Those bans created black markets and probably diverted some demand for cigarettes to pipes and stogies. They certainly didn't eradicate smoking anywhere. And of course, they trampled the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law, not that these things mean much to monsters like the Cheney-Bush regime-junta-hopefully-not-Eight-Year-Reich.

Why has only government price control and behavior intervention led to a slowdown of tobacco use?

This claim is unsupportable and in fact is false on its face. For example, I have several libertarian friend who quite smoking for a variety of reasons. Cigarettes aren't price controlled, I don't think, but they are heavily taxed. Tobaccy farmers are also subsidized by taxpayers.

Lots of people take all sorts of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, without negative consequences, or at least without the consequences that the U.S. Drug Czar and his minions would have us believe.
There was a libertarian in NYC who took heroin for years and gave it up because he got bored with it, the same way I kicked a bad high school golf habit when I graduated. I've only played once since, on a working vacation in Key Largo, and shudder to think of picking up a driver again.

ValueSnark



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