Milton Friedman

A quote pertinent to our dicussion of late. May MF rest in peace.


“Alcohol and tobacco cause many more deaths in users than do drugs.
Decriminalization would not prevent us from treating drugs as we now
treat alcohol and tobacco: prohibiting sales of drugs to minors,
outlawing the advertising of drugs and similar measures. Such measures
could be enforced, while outright prohibition cannot be. Moreover, if
even a small fraction of the money we now spend on trying to enforce
drug prohibition were devoted to treatment and rehabilitation, in an
atmosphere of compassion not punishment, the reduction in drug usage
and in the harm done to the users could be dramatic.

This plea comes from the bottom of my heart. Every friend of freedom,
and I know you are one, must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of
turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails
filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to
invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence,”
– Milton Friedman,
in a 1990 open letter to Bill Bennett, big government conservative.


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