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Old 01-06-2020, 12:34 PM
ITR champion is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 10,455
Maybe one day cocaine will be legal again. If so, we're going to rediscover that there can be serious problems with both its use and abuse.
Maybe so, but there are a lot of things which are legal but which cause serious problems. We simply live with a government that makes some things illegal in all or most cases (cocaine, opium, internet gambling) and leaves other things legal (tobacco, liquor, state lotteries) and there's no logical basis for it.

If a large number of people want to use a substance, then making that substance illegal causes them to shift towards illegal sources. Illegal sources tend to be much more dangerous than legal, regulated sources. For example, before Prohibition most Americans drank beer. During Prohibition, there was a huge shift to hard liquor because it was easier for criminals to produce and transport small amounts of liquor rather than huge volumes of beer. Outlaw cocaine and you get a crack epidemic. Outlaw opium and you get heroin and then fentanyl.

If we decriminalized cocaine and opium and other recreational drugs, then they could be produced by professionals in a heavily regulated environment. They could be offered in low, standardized doses. By contrast, right now they're produced by criminals so obviously there's no regulation or standardization and thus there's a huge danger of overdose deaths.