Argument: The legalization of marijuana will increase consumption
- Dr. David Murray, chief scientist of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "On the Legalization — or Not — of Marijuana." New York Times, Freakenomics. October 30, 2007 - "While marijuana is the most prevalent controlled substance, with an estimated 15 million users on a monthly basis, researchers agree that if legal disincentives were not in place, the number of users would soar, leading to far greater negative social impacts on everything from school performance to roadway and workplace accidents to the prevalence of serious mental illness and the rising numbers of emergency room visits."
- "Against the legalization of drugs". Drug Watch International. Retrieved 2.11.08 - "Legalization would decrease price and increase availability. Availability is a leading factor associated with increased drug use. Increased use of addictive substances leads to increased addiction. As a public health measure, statistics show that prohibition was a tremendous success."
- "Time for a puff of sanity". Economist.com. Jul 26th 2001 - "It IS every parent's nightmare. A youngster slithers inexorably from a few puffs on a joint, to a snort of cocaine, to the needle and addiction. It was the flesh-creeping heart of “Traffic”, a film about the descent into heroin hell of a pretty young middle-class girl, and it is the terror that keeps drug laws in place. It explains why even those politicians who puffed at a joint or two in their youth hesitate to put the case for legalising drugs.
- The terror is not irrational. For the first thing that must be said about legalising drugs, a cause The Economist has long advocated and returns to this week (see survey), is that it would lead to a rise in their use, and therefore to a rise in the number of people dependent on them. Some argue that drug laws have no impact, because drugs are widely available. Untrue: drugs are expensive—a kilo of heroin sells in America for as much as a new Rolls-Royce—partly because their price reflects the dangers involved in distributing and buying them. It is much harder and riskier to pick up a dose of cocaine than it is to buy a bottle of whisky. Remove such constraints, make drugs accessible and very much cheaper, and more people will experiment with them.…"