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How Drug War Encourages Drug Use

As we've said before, the war against drugs is a very silly war, and when we fight it, we often encourage the very things we're trying to prevent.

The idea behind tough policing of illegal drugs is to drive dealers out of the market, thus making supplies scarce and driving up the price (this is basic economics). But it turns out that their actions LOWER the price of drugs, encouraging more people to use them.

Part of this has to do with the fact that if you don't get the price you want for most items, you'll try another store, but drug buyers rarely know where to find another dealer. But in New Scientist, Jim Giles points out that these dealers tend to congregate in the same "known" places, so higher prices will cause them to compete with one another, lowering their prices. When that happens, word will get out and more people will show up to buy drugs.

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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