|Date: 2024-02-22 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00001935
Burgess Brief for TVM
There has been a 'war on drugs' for a very long time ... probably going back to the Nixon era. The problem of addictive drugs seems to be as big a problem today as it was several decades ago, if not worse.
I think of the problem in terms of addictive drugs rather than 'illegal drugs'. The problem is not a function of their legal status, the problem is associated with their addictive properties and the potential for profitable exploitation.
The addictive drug landscape has some similarities with the problem of alcoholism and the imposition of prohibition in the 1930s. When the consumption of alcohol was made 'illegal', the activity went underground, and criminal syndicates flourished.
In the war on addictive drugs, there has been a similar behavior. Use of these drugs is illegal, but because of their addictive nature, the consumption continues, and criminal drug cartels serve the market. Huge profits are being made along the supply chain from the growers to the eventual consumer, and all sorts of law enforcement activities consume the scarce resources of society.
I have done 'development planning' in many different parts of the world, including some countries where farmers grow crops for the addictive drug trade in preference to food crops. Though the farmers may not have formal education, they understand the basic economics of farming, and they choose to grow crops that will earn them the most profit ... that is addictive drugs.
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