Friday, November 17, 2006


Over a year ago I wrote in a piece titled Why They Hate America:

You know why The United States has interfered for years and continues to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries?

It is because The United States cannot control the drug problem within its own borders.
You can read the whole article *HERE*, (scroll down). In it I try to make the case that the “War on Drugs” not only cannot be won, it is foolish to try.

I did not know that Milton Friedman had made the same argument over 15 years before. He, of course, made the argument much better than I could or else I would have simply reprinted his words. Here is partly what he wrote in an open letter to Bill Bennett:

You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve.

Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault.

The entire letter is a great example of clear writing and logic. You can read it all *HERE*. What a pity that so little attention was paid to it.

Milton Friedman died yesterday. He was a great man. You can read his biography *HERE*.


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