Today while jumping around the “web” from link, to link, to link, I found a site that has the transcripts of an interview with Dr Milton Friedman.
Paige: Let us deal first with the issue of legalization of drugs. How do you see America changing for the better under that system?
Friedman: I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there's a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they're sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.
Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol, went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.
What's really great is how Dr. Friedman explains how government prohibition of Marijuana is the REAL stepping stone to harder drugs, and not Marijuana itself.Transcript
One justification for the prohibition is the addicts, but Milton Friedman explains the flip side of the coin:
So, the evidence is very mixed. But I have to admit that the one negative feature of legalizing drugs is that there might be some additional drug habbits. However, I want to qualify that in still another way.
The Child who's shot in a slum in a pass-by-shooting, in a random shooting, is an innocent victim in every respect of the term. The person who decides to take drugs for himself is not an innocent victim. He has chosen himself to be a victim. And I must say I have very much less sympathy for him. I do not think it is moral to impose such heavy costs on other people to protect people from their own choices
In a prior post I had asked "How many lives are worth a socialist idea, now though, how many lives are worth an moralistic idea?