They attempt to rebut several arguments for drug law reform but contradict themselves and rely on obvious fallacies.
The pair write:
Argument number one is that the war on drugs has failed because it's still easy to obtain illegal drugs. This is like arguing that the laws against drink driving have failed because thousands of people each year continue to drink and drive.
Meanwhile higher prices in fact create the massive profit that keeps criminals in the game, often better resourced than the police. An obvious comparison is Al Capone’s bootleg empire during alcohol prohibition in the US. So prohibition in fact creates the illicit drug trade.
Weatherburn and Hall argue that legitimsed legal supply would drop prices, thus encouraging more people into the market. Huh? Repeal of prohibition virtually stopped the dangerous and violent bootlegging of Capone et al. Why would more people enter a market in which the profits had been wiped out? Or did they mean that dropping prices would encourage more use? This sounds intuitive but there is no convincing evidence of this. Since drug use exploded even as prohibition increased prices, it is evident that normal price elasticity does not apply to drugs the same way it might to flat-screen TVs.
Then they argue it would be immoral for the state to supply toxic drugs like methamphetamines.
However under regulated supply, quality and potency would be ensured and documented, and the rest of us wouldn’t have to suffer the crimes committed by addicts to meet black market prices.
Please Mr Weatherburn and Mr Hall, stick to research, not fallacious assertions.