"Money will still matterMichael Gormly and Thea Gumbert (Letters, May 22) believe legalisation of drugs such as heroin will result in less crime, as addicts will no longer have to steal to support their habits. This is illogical. Many illicit drugs are highly addictive. Sooner or later, dependence will outstrip addicts' capacity to pay, regardless of where they buy drugs. Stealing will continue under prohibition or legalisation, as both require money to be exchanged for drugs.Matt Kwan Sydney"
Cigarette ban is no answerMatt Kwan (Letters, May 23-24), when have you ever heard of a cigarette smoker, someone who is hooked on the most addictive drug in the world, committing a crime to pay for a packet? I guarantee that your answer would be never and the reason is that tobacco is legal and as a result the prices are kept low and within reason.If, however, tobacco was criminalised, the price would skyrocket and the supply and distribution would be controlled and managed by organised criminal gangs. That is why the argument for prohibition fails dismally in this context.Stuart Cranston Coogee
It is Matt Kwan who is illogical about drug addiction (Letters 23 May). He thinks addiction has no upper limit to its consumption and therefore addicts would return to crime even if drugs were legal and regulated.It ain’t necessarily so. Supply by prescription would imply not only built-in health management but also the ability of doctors to prescribe to the needs of the addict. Meanwhile the wheels would fall off the illegal supply chain, both from plummeting demand and ‘unfair’ price pressure from the regulated product. Yes, some addicts would try to operate outside the system but, faced with a choice of a long and possibly fruitless search on the streets or the certainty of a quality product at a much lower price, the desperate addict would overwhelmingly favour the latter, leaving us with far safer homes and more pleasant public spaces.Michael Gormly Woolloomooloo