Monday, December 1, 2008

Prescription heroin legal in Switzerland

Very interesting development for those who favor attempting to find alternative solutions to the current drug prohibition: Swiss voters have voted in a referendum for allowing doctors to prescribe heroin for addicts in order to ensure clean conditions and close medical/psychiatric follow-up. The War on Drug has been largely a failure; the prices of drugs has fallen in the past decades, the quality has gone up and the availability has increased. Yet as Fester notes, we make others pay the price:
I believe that the maintenance of a very large, cash driven and profitable black market in narcotics destabilizes numerous nation states, including our own, decreases legitimacy and increases net disorder. Mexico is currently engaged in multiple narco-insurgencies as smuggling and production cartels are carving out sections of Mexico and creating effectively stateless zones that abut our borders. Reducing the black market cash flows will weaken these cartels as well as weaken the Taliban and other non-state actors that protect opium production.
Changing such a situation is not easy because the social consequences of decriminalization are largely unknown so politicians understandably do not want to spend political capital trying to push this idea, which is why it will be important to watch the results of this program.

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