Free Market Principles
Drug War Casualty: Free Market Principles
The principles of the free market are obviously not much respected, or even understood, by those who talk highly of free enterprise and then support drug prohibition.
The war on drugs has long been, in large part, about money. The urge to control intoxicants has been one of the greatest powers driving economies for centuries. We all know about the Dutch and British East India companies. The Mayans and Aztecs used cacao for money. Chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine and anandamide – which has a similar effect to marijuana’s THC. Today, coffee remains dominant in commerce, second only to oil.
In the nineteenth century, China was home to the Opium Wars – this time, force was used to keep drug markets open, not closed.
The key is there is demand for drugs, and so there shall be supply. If drugs are restricted, we will have human misery, but people will pay more or find other intoxicating alternatives. Most modern drug abuse has probably been with pharmaceuticals, anyway – barbiturates, benzodiazepines, household inhalants.