Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jul 1999
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Author: Geoff Page


I WAS interested to see your report that "Friday night's drug haul [in
Sydney] was the eighth major drug bust in a week" ("Blitz nets $3.5m in
cash, drugs", CT, 4 July, p.3). I wonder if this is really such a cause for

Presumably such a "haul" will have one of two effects. Either it will
create a shortage of supply, which will in turn raise the street price
ultimately charged by those still in the business (and hence raise the
level of crime undertaken by many addicts), or the street price will remain
unchanged (as the NSW Police Commissioner admitted had been the case after
previous "hauls").

If the second alternative occurs one must wonder what has been achieved by
the haul in the first place (other than a certain redistribution of business).

Perhaps it is worth asking why such drugs are banned in the first place.
Why is it that our governments (federal, state and territory) presume to
control a voluntary behaviour of electors, which harms no one but
themselves? Do these governments intend to go on to ban alcohol, cigarettes
and saturated fats, all of which cause many more deaths? I hope not.

These are issues about which citizens need information to make up their own
minds. Anything else is wowserism at best and totalitarianism at worst.

Why then do our governments (of every shade) insist on filling the well
laundered and tax-free bank accounts of the remaining international drug
traffickers, and, at the same time, help to precipitate the several hundred
annual heroin-overdose deaths which might have been avoided if heroin were
available on prescription at an uninflated price (as it was before 1953)?


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