14 Mar 2014

(Edited) Murphy Remarks to TN-NORML Meeting

Drug War, Shameless Self-Promotion 24 Comments

We were crammed into a side room at a restaurant (because the normal venue apparently double-booked) but I gave a 15-minute talk to the TN chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

24 Responses to “(Edited) Murphy Remarks to TN-NORML Meeting”

  1. Cosmo Kramer says:

    It took me a very long time to accept the libertarian conclusion about drugs. I was the Unit Prevention Leader (UPL) while in the Army and I naturally could care less about any drug except caffeine. Once I opened my mind to these solid arguments, I finally accepted a logically consistent view on drugs.

  2. joe says:

    So we legalize cocaine and see fewer people shot over cocaine deals but more people dead from overdose.

    Then we also have a larger number of people addicted to cocaine and since it’s expensive they commit property crimes to acquire the money for their habit. Once in a while they shot someone while committing these property crimes.

    So we wind up with
    1) more overdoses
    2) more property crime
    3) perhaps more violent crime

    Sure let’s legalize cocaine.

    Of course the libertarian counter-factual is that once we get rid of govt, there are no problems. We’re back in the garden of eden before Adam ate that apple. So the increase in addiction that follows legalization is again blamed on govt.

    • Tel says:

      No silly.

      We legalise the growing of coca leaves for home consumption, allowing people to consume them without harming others and most of those home growers aren’t going to concentrate the material because there’s no need to do so.

      Cocaine is a product of trade restrictions.

    • andrew' says:

      Nope. Wrong again. But that’s redundant.

      We legalize marijuana and almost no one notices. Legalize cocaine and much the same.

      We now have prescription drugs killing more people than illegal drugs and more prison inmates than anybody at any time in the known universe.

      If there are some problems undoing this in a rush, yes it will be government’s fault.

      • andrew' says:

        And tel is correct. I’ve wondered why this hasn’t been more emphasized. By legalizing marijuana the demand for more easily smuggled drugs will diminish to some extent that we don’t know yet because of government’s suck.

    • Richie says:

      “Jerry Wolfgang” strikes again.

    • guest says:

      So we wind up with
      1) more overdoses …

      This is essentially the argument for government control of the kinds of food we eat. People are too stupid to take care of themselves, so we have to control them by forcing companies to serve “more healthy” foods and to put the number of calories on a label.

      What other people put into their bodies is none of our business. And if people want to kill themselves by how they eat, that is also their business.

      … 2) more property crime
      3) perhaps more violent crime …

      When you suppress the availability of something in demand, the price goes up. So the high cost of drugs is due to the violation of people’s natural right to make voluntary transactions, not the violent drug cartels who would be put out of business were people able to compete with each other to supply these drugs, and thereby driving down the price.

      Aside: This issue is similar to how government interference in the housing market gives slumlords their power:

      Defending the Undefendable (Chapter 20: The Slumlord) by Walter Block

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Joe’s post is a perfect example of not understanding any determinants of price formation.

      Cocaine is expensive NOW, yes. But why on Earth are you assuming the price would be unchanged after legalization?

    • Gamble says:

      Hey Joe.

      Drug prohibition causes overdose.

      Illegality dumbs down consumers and their habits.

      Towns with racetracks have fewer road racing related deaths.

      So I am saying if drugs were legal, production and consumption would become standardized and sensible.

      Living in Colorado, now that alcohol can be purchased on Sundays and cannabis is legal, it has never been easier to abstain…

    • Cosmo Kramer says:

      “Of course the libertarian counter-factual is that once we get rid of govt, there are no problems. ”

      Okay fool. Find a SINGLE libertarian that made that claim.


    • Beard Face says:

      The price would fall heavily if cocaine was legalized. The decrease in price would outweigh the increase in addicts, resulting in less property crime, not more.

  3. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Bob, you say increasing the street price of heroin a thousandfold encourages people to commit robberies and the like to get the money to buy it. But what if you increased it enough that it’s out of reach for the person regardless of any criminal acts he can plausibly do?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      The government has already increased the price as much as it can through violence against producers and consumers.

      It won’t be able to enforce a price floor because then it would have to allow exchanges to take place, which would be effective legalization.

      Take off your central planning hat please. It’s clashing with the decor.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Keshav, I assumed, but now am not sure, that you would be against the government imposing capital punishment against a person who voluntarily ingests a chemical.

        • Keshav Srinivasan says:

          Yes, illegal drug use seems too minor a thing to warrant capital punishment.

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        You think the government has increased the street price of drugs as much as it can? You don’t think any more enforcement can possibly increase the price? I don’t think that’s remotely true, since the street prices of some illegal drugs have fallen, so presumably the government could at least get them back to their old levels.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          “You think the government has increased the street price of drugs as much as it can?”

          Other than capital punishment, no, I don’t see anything more they could do. The government has already turned the country into a giant gulag system for peaceful drug “offenders” and other non-violent “criminals”.

          • Keshav Srinivasan says:

            If the government is doing the most that it can do, then wouldn’t the street prices of all illegal drugs be at all-time highs? Because they’re not, and at no point in the past (as far as I’m aware) was capital punishment used to enforce these laws.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              “wouldn’t the street prices of all illegal drugs be at all-time highs”

              No, because the ratio between supply and demand aren’t necessarily constant because supply and demand are not necessarily constant individually.

              Also, government activity is not necessarily constant. The most it can do at any given time might be different than the recent past and future to that given time.

    • GeePonder says:

      Increase the price enough, and we would all yearn to become suppliers.

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        That’s a seperate issue. I was addressing Bob’s argument that increasing the street price makes customers commit crimes to afford it.

        • GeePonder says:

          Respectfully, they are as separate as Ying and Yang.

  4. Jonathan Finegold says:

    At first, I thought that said Eddie Murphy on…

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