Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Signs of sanity in the WoD
Michael Duffy again sortied into sensible analysis of Australia's War on Drugs in the Herald this weekend.
'Australian governments spend about $4.7 billion a year on the war on drugs,' he wrote.
And: 'John Humphreys, an economist with the Centre for Independent Studies, says: "It gets interesting when you try to do a cost-benefit analysis on the prohibition. Basically, there aren't any benefits."
Today I'm going to hear Norm Stamper speaking at Parliament House -- He's the ex-cop from Seattle who is a spokesman for LEAP, (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), also featured separately by Michael Duffy in the SMH this weekend, quoting Mr Stamper:
"Every once in a while, someone in government has claimed progress," he said, "but they've been wrong. The immutable law of supply and demand will continue to work its magic for ever. Purity and prices will fluctuate, people's behaviour will fluctuate, but there has never been any point in the drug war where we've come close to winning. It is unwinnable, and it's immoral."
Still, the drug warriors will continue their moral panic and our local police will continue believing the fairy stories they learned during their training at Goulburn so they can continue fooling themselves they are doing something useful as they persecute Sydney's counter-cultures.
But for how long can they keep it up?
I wrote my own piece last week on the travails of Oxford Street, highlighting the role of over-regulation in aggravating the problems it seeks to solve -- including the way sniffer dogs frighten the nice people away from the inner city and thus promote the drinking culture people complain about so regularly. Here's the link to the City News piece.