Sunday, September 14, 2008

What if we legalized all drugs?

That is the title of an article from MSN. Here is the link: What if we legalized all drugs?. (Hat Tip: Cliff Perez, a student in one of my classes).

The article does a good job of presenting different views. The research of some economists is mentioned. We discussed issues like this in my ECON 1301 class this past week. One objection I do have to the article is that it suggests that if we legalized drugs the tax revenue the government would collect would be a benefit. No, a tax is just a transfer. Citizens have less money and the government has more. Now if the benefits from the programs those taxes fund outweigh the costs, that is good. But that may not be true for everything government does.

I was interviewed last year for the Ranger (the San Antonio College newspaper) on this issue. Here is the link: Legalization needs analysis, economics professor says. Kinky Friedman, a candidate for Governor, had suggested legalizing marijuana. I talked about the issues that needed to be addressed on that. WARNING: when you click on this link, you may see a picture of me!


Anonymous said...

Legalizing pot will increase marijuana use and will open up doors for other drugs. I would not be comfortable to drive my kids among pot heads.I think it is a very bad idea.

Cliff Perez said...

Our bloated government would love nothing more than for us to feed it more money by way of taxes. Legalizing drugs would help some people by giving them new oppurtunities in small business(even though it would be taxed). It would also allow the government to regulate the selling and usage of drugs. That might lead to less drug induced deaths, murders, and criminal activity. It could also lead to a less productive society. It is a tough issue, but we must remember that alcohol was onced banned in our country. That led to a whole host of criminal problems (see Prohibition or Al Capone). It's a tough issue, but I think it would be interesting to see the results of legalizing some "softer" drugs. I wouldn't partake in the consumption (nor do I now), but I think it would open up a very new and interesting segment in our economy.