Pulled this comment out from a response to Mike’s Merit Bound Alley, regarding the War on Drugs. I’ve noticed this topic, particularly Mandatory Drug Sentencing , has been getting attention lately. Below is the comment. My apologies to those who have seen it before.

I have been working on this problem for a while.

The solution came to me in a Wal*mart. To keep myself from falling asleep while shopping with my wife, i challenged myself to think through our drug policy and find a workable solution.

For some reason I decided to look around and create a thought model that said, what if everything here was a recreational drug, how would that work……….

Simply put. ( the real argument is much fuller) Q & A style.

Q: Drugs are addictive. Addicts MUST have it
A: So is food. We don’t kill for it.

Q: Would you kill for food if someone was preventing you from getting it?
A: Hell yes.

Q: Drugs are bad. They distort reality.
A: So does mixing alcohol and television. But we survive.

Q: What is the fastest way to stop smuggling.
A: Take away the profit from it.

Q: How can one do that?
A. Put the government in control of selling drugs below cost.

Q: How would that help?
A: Which would you prefer, driving down to Market and 25th and buying from some hooded undesirable, or standing forever at a Wal*mart checkout line?

Q. That’s crazy. You would sell crack, coke, heroin, weed in a store?
A. Not only that, we would sell it for CHEAP

Q Then everyone would be an addict.
A. Does everyone sniff glue? It’s cheap. Does everyone inhale hairspray? it’s cheap. Does everyone smoke banana peels? They are not expensive. Price or accessibility are not the reasons fewer people use drugs.

Q. What about those who become addicted…….
A. That will be part of the social cost, funded by taxes. They want treated, we treat them.

Q Drugs will weaken our society.
A And alcohol won’t.? Man has survived on alcohol since the original drink. Society still functions. Many today survive on illegal substances. Their lives, jobs, reputations are not in jeopardy.

Q if drugs are free, why would someone work………Just lay around and have someone bring you food, clean you up, sort of like Tennyson’s “Lotus Eaters.”
A. Currently the one’s who lay around and get high, are the ones without jobs or responsibilities. Those with responsibilities still use drugs, but impose their own restraints. “No, I got to work tomorrow.”

Q: What makes you so sure that society will not collapse if the government sponsors drugs real cheaply.

A. Suppose I overdo it and one day get fired. I’m a loser. But everyone else who sees me get fired, tells themselves they need to keep their habits under control. Society will survive because someone will always be there to replace a loser

Q. Drugs are bad for health.
A And tobacco isn’t. This is America.

Q You must use drugs to want to legalize them so much?
A. No, they scare me. My gut emotional response is to keep doing what we have been doing. Keep them out. This is a thought process designed at solving a problem using a series of models and predicting the outcomes.

Q So you are ignorant of the effect that drugs have on people since you abstain from them?
A. I am the last real person in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” Everyone else uses drugs in society but me, and I have to accept it and fit in to survive. (Excuse me, I have to go check out that discordant shrieking noise outside……….)

Q How will this plan stop violence, smuggling, murders, police corruption currently associated with drugs?
A. Imagine you own a cartel and have 3 Billion dollars tied up in drugs. The next day and forever more you can’t sell it for a penny……How do you pay off the cops, how do you pay your thugs, how do you pay your runners, how do you pay your assassins? More likely they will turn and come after you.when they realize you cannot pay them.

Q: How much would this cost.
A Much less than we are spending now.on prevention.

Q What bothers you most about this idea.
A It is too conservative for it uses the market place to solve a social problem. And that scares the hell out of me…………………