Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 2015
Source: Alaska Dispatch News (AK)
Copyright: 2015 Alaska Dispatch Publishing
Note: Anchorage Daily News until July '14
Author: Frank Cahill


Basic economics says that limiting supply will drive up price. 
Presumably heroin deaths in Alaska are lower than they might be due 
to a high price for the drug caused by the limit on supply created by 
its illegality. But the "elasticity of demand" for an addictive 
substance is low; people will pay anything at all for it if they need 
it (note that bars do fine in tough economic times). We might 
question whether the high price actually promotes its use, since 
sellers are so motivated by the high profit margins that they not 
only risk long prison terms but will fight deadly battles to protect 
"market share" from other sellers.

I recommend that policymakers and those who vote for them read 
"Chasing the Scream" by Johann Hari, a polemical history of drug laws 
in America and worldwide.

- - Frank Cahill

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom