June 2, 2005

Drug War Killers

A guaranteed result of prohibitions is inconsistent product quality which sometimes can have deadly results:

Seven people have died in Portland from apparent heroin overdoses in the past week, prompting police to warn users that a recent shipment of the drug might be more powerful than usual or possibly poisoned.

"We're not fans of heroin use," said Sgt. Brian Schmautz, a Portland police spokesman. "But obviously, the last thing we want is to have people dropping dead from this stuff."

Well, it is not at all clear that this is not what the perpetrators of the drug war want.

Product quality related deaths can be eliminated simply by ending the prohibition. Then the marketplace would develop sets of branded products with identifiable quality perhaps tested by something comparable to Underwriters Laboratory. Sure, someone could still overdose but it would no longer be accidental but rather, as with alcohol, the user would have to make a stupid decision to consume large quantities.

Blame for these deaths must be placed on those who legislate for and enforce the drug prohibitions.

Posted by Steve on June 2, 2005
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