We must understand the legal and economic nature of drug-trafficking to solve it, or at least mitigate its effects on our society. It’s not so easy to place laws into effect; nor is it easy to police those laws.
The problem of drug-trafficking has plagued the political and cultural landscape for centuries, if not millenia. It’s not going away, and we only have one choice to settle the issue. So, how do we solve the issue of drug-trafficking?
What would the economic impact of the legalization of drugs and would the legalization of drugs solve the problem of drug-trafficking?
Drug use is a part of human nature; from the actual neurotransmitters within our brains mimicked by certain plant alkaloids, to the correlation between alcoholism and diabetes. (For example, the discovery that marijuana canabinoid receptors are endogenous; the receptors already exist in our brain for normal neurotransmitters, canabis simply mimics their shape and activity) Drugs are innate, and as much a part of our biology as food and drink.
What would happen if we legalized drugs? Would the economy of drug-trafficking fall apart?
Some economic research suggests that suggests that as far as an economic model of drug-trafficking, the legalization of drugs would not be a market failure. (Block, 1993) Some research even suggests that taxation of legalized drugs would be a more effective deterrent than policing those drugs (Becker, Murphy, Grossman, 2004)
The real question we can ask with this information is: Where is the research to support the opposite conclusion?
Where is the research that proves that the current drug policy is an effective economic strategy?
What economist out there can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that it’s CHEAPER to run a war on drugs than it is to legalize them?
What researcher will prove to me that keeping drugs illegal decreases the amount of money made by drug-trafficking?
The truth is, there’s no evidence to cite the counter-claim; our drug policy works by the sheer magic of belief alone.
I suppose then, that the humans believe in irrational thoughts. Humans are irrational creatures. We can’t change human biology, at least not very quickly.
Yet. Someday, perhaps someone will invent an anti-drug vaccine; one that keeps use from becoming addicted to drugs. Imagine if our populace were vaccinated, much in the same way that we are vaccinated against mumps and rubella; with the exception that we were vaccinated against addiction.
Until the day comes when you can change human nature, drug-trafficking is here to stay.