The US War on Drugs started 46 years ago today. Some commentary from Milton Friedman on that failed and shameful war

The War on Drugs is as they say a War on the American People.

It is also a war that is largely fought to benefit cronies. Parts of law enforcement, the prison complex, Pharma, and most importantly and maybe most tragically the drug cartels, benefit from the conflict. One could throw in some of the banks too.

All because of a deep puritanical streak in the American consciousness that has been exploited for political power and financial gain.

Are drugs good? No. But the drug war is worse than the drugs. This is a subjective statement but it gets more objective with each passing year. 

(From AEI)

Today is the 46th anniversary of America’s War on Drugs Otherwise Peaceful Americans Who Voluntarily Choose To Ingest or Sell Intoxicants Currently Proscribed by the Government, Which Will Put Users or Sellers in Cages if Caught, see today’s previous post on CD here. To bring awareness to this immoral, failed, costly, and shameful war on the American people, here’s some commentary below from Nobel economist Milton Friedman.

In 1991 Nobel economist Milton Friedman (pictured above giving a talk at AEI, exact year unknown) was interviewed by Emmy Award-winning drug reporter Randy Paige on “America’s Drug Forum,” a national public affairs talk show that appeared on public television stations. In the interview, Milton Friedman discussed in detail his views on America’s War on Drugs, legalization of drugs, the role of government in a free society, and his pessimistic view of America’s future if we continue moving in the direction of socialism. Videos of the entire 30-minute interview appears below in three parts, and here is the transcript of the interview.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the interview (emphasis added):

1. Paige: Let us deal first with the issue of legalization of drugs. How do you see America changing for the better under that system?

Friedman: I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there’s a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they’re sure of the quality.You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.

Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol, went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.

Click here for the article.