Helping Cartels

One of the weirder ideas out there is that legalizing drugs will do away with drug cartels. It’s based on absolutely zero evidence. Legalization of heroin in the US in the firm of opioids like Oxycodone did the exact opposite. It created drug cartels in Mexico.

When a drug is legalized, that helps and strengthens drug cartels. The government does the job of normalizing drug use and doing the marketing for them. Many of the people who buy legally eventually start buying from cartels because cartels sell it cheaper. And they sell cheaper because they don’t pay taxes on their drugs.

All of this isn’t my assumption. It already happened exactly like I’m describing with the opioid epidemic. People started with the legal Oxy and ended up on illegal heroin because it was cheaper. No government can compete with a cartel on the price. So cartels celebrate legalization.

As a character in a Mexican novel I’m reading says, “Gallons of blood are spilled on our side of the border so that stupid gringo kids can enjoy cheap drugs on spring break. It’s fun and giggles for them and a vale of tears for us.”

4 thoughts on “Helping Cartels”

  1. Part of the problem here with the war on drugs and the rise of opioid addiction is moral hazard. People do not see Oxycodone as truly dangerous because it is proscribed by a doctor as opposed to heroin, which requires dealing with a declared criminal. If you went to a pharmacist for your Oxycodone and he pulled the package out of his locked cabinet next to his stash of legal heroin that would raise tough questions. You do not do “drugs.” Maybe you should rethink that Oxycodone.
    When we are talking about drugs, are we starting from the premise that people have the right to destroy themselves and the only justification for any laws making drugs illegal is in response to specific emergency situations in which keeping a drug legal would constitute a society-wide suicide pact? For example, I assume we both believe that free speech is important but that treason in war-time should be illegal.


  2. By legalize I think one means legalize the way alcohol is legal. Not the way prescription medications are.

    Medical people get very upset when you refer to these substances as drugs. You have to call them medicines, or their feelings can be hurt, sometimes quite badly. It’s very hard for them


    1. yep. this is the winning comment. why doesn’t al capone like mobsters put budweiser out of business? or bacardi’s out of business? now, it is still a hard thought to get people to let certain hard drugs be as available as beer and vodka / rum etc, but if you did then cartels could not compete.


  3. “The government does the job of normalizing drug use…”

    This is essentially why I have a problem with the state condoning illegal, self-, and societal-harming drug use through the provision of so-called “safe” or “supervised” (what a concept, says it all, really!) injection sites. It just seems very wrong to me.


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