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Old 07-05-2011, 06:01 PM
operative operative is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,261
Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
It was interesting that in the diavlog Mark focused on the relationship between taxes and prices and demand. With cigarettes, of course, and also, for example, he said that one reason why legalizing marijuana was unlikely to lead to the spike in usage that he fears with other currently illegal drugs is that current availability and price means that with taxation you could reasonably make the cost only about 50% of what it is now. The other drugs would be so much cheaper that taxes could make much less of a difference, without just having a serious black market, of course.

This stands to reason, but in my mind the mere illegality/availability effect are greater. Probably just because I'm sheltered and all.
The problem with his thinking is that people aren't avoiding using the drugs in question because they're illegal or because they're too expensive--they're not using them because it's very stupid to do so. Very few people use salvia, a legal and cheap hallucinogenic. Not too many people come home and spend their evenings snuffing household products to get high, even though they're freely available and very cheap. I just don't buy into this notion that there are tons of people just waiting to use heroin if only it would come down in price.
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