Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another awesome reason to visit Mexico

Mexico is only a presidential signature away from making the small-quantity possession of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and heroine "decriminalized." The Mexican government is claiming that by eliminating the need to find and prosecute individuals with small amounts of drugs, law-enforcement officials will be freer to investigate and pursue major drug sellers and traffickers. Naturally, the Bush White House has their panties in a wad because it wouldn't be particularly savvy of Bush to do what we all know he's doing at this point - his happy dance while planning his next vacation to Mexico to dapple in some bugger sugar.

I think this is a good time to make mention of the fact that demand for drugs is perfectly inelastic. Persecution of drug dealers decreases the supply of drugs and thus the cost is increased. However, the demand for drugs is perfectly inelastic and does not decrease despite the increase in cost. So, as costs increase the level of crime to fund the cost of drugs also rises. By legalizing drugs, thus increasing the supply and decreasing the cost, the level of overall crime to fund the demand would diminish. I would like to think that perhaps the US might take a less than knee-jerk reaction to this new development with our Southern neighbor and analyze what changes take place. I say, we legalize drugs but regulate them for purity and potency as you do with prescription medication or even, for that matter alcohol, decrease crime and increase the safety for those people already choosing to use illegal drugs.

Let me qualify by saying that I don't do drugs but I think especially for an economically challenged country, in desperate need of increased social programs and greater regulation of major drug trafficking, this is an efficient reallocation of resources. Also, let me add - I will be taking my next vacation in Cozumel.


Ferg said...
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Ferg said...

While I do agree that drugs should be legalized, regulated and taxed, I don't agree that the demand is perfectly inelastic. I think that use would increase due to wider, more legal availability. Despite how rampant drug use may be in this country, there's a reason why alcohol is the most widely used drug - because it's legal and so easily acquired. During prohibition, while alcohol use did not stop, it did decrease. Of course, none of this has anything to do with the simple fact that it's absurd that the goverment can allow the use of certain drugs (alcohol, nicotine) as well as, by and large, look the other way regarding prescription drug abuse, but penalize people who prefer to use something else.

BTW, I don't know the specifics of Mexico's plan, but decriminalization doesn't necessarily mean that it's legal. Possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults (not more than 1 oz) has been effectively decriminalized in California (and several other states) since the 1970s. Technically, it IS a misdemeanor, but the penalties are more in line with what would typically be considered a citation (a fine not to exceed $100).

In fact, I got pulled over last year, because I didn't come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red and was given a citation of $374. Had I simply stayed home and lit up, I would have saved myself AT LEAST $274, and I would have had to have been caught for that to happen.

Anonymous said...

My brother lives in Amsterdam where marijuana is totally legal. I live in Paris where it is illegal.-
According to recent comparitive studies , the highest consumption in Europe of the stuff amongst young people is to be found in France (& the constant stench from my neighbour's door is testament to that! It fking stinks)
I think decriminalizing & legalising certain drugs is one thing but if you look at alcohol - both legal in Britain & France for example- there is a higher percentage of binge drinking in England. The english simply don't know 'how' to drink. Just like I don't know 'how' to consume Kool-aid (ssniiiff). Varying cultural & social factors play a part, they'll always be someone who wants to get shit-faced. But as you said, the mexican government is also tackling cocaine, ecstasy and heroine which of course are hardly comparable to alcohol & cigarettes. On paper, it makes sense to free the laws hands at street level- in order to persue the drug barons etc at the top of the chain.
Viva Mech-i-co anyway.


Ferg said...

You're right, Anthony...heroin and cocaine aren't like cigarettes. Cigarettes are much worse because they harm not only the user, but those around them.

Anonymous said...

Question for Ferg: What if you are strung out on crack and go on a killing rampage, but you are smoking a cigarette while you do so?! What would be the worst then?

- Lynn