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Blog Post 11/09

After reading the article, “Four Decades and Counting: The Continued Failure of the War on Drugs,” I was astonished by the extensiveness of the war on drugs. The article mentions fighting the Taliban, drugs in Afghanistan, and other instances of the war on drugs, and they surpassed the level of longevity that I ever knew existed in this everlasting fight. However, the point that I was most interested in, and spent the most time with was the economic aspect of the prohibition of drugs. Early on in the section, “Proponents of drug prohibition argue that by banning certain substances, they can reduce or eliminate both the demand and the supply for drugs, thereby significantly reducing or even eradicating the drug market. What these arguments fail to appreciate, however, is that making markets illegal fails to reduce, much less eliminate, the market for drugs. Instead, these mandates mainly push the market for drugs into underground black markets.” I found this so interesting because basic laws of supply and demand allow a complete understanding of what happens when the two are affected; the black market gains prominence. When the supply of a good is shifted left, or decreased, the quantity of that good demanded decreases and the price increases. While this appears to be a good thing because people are demanding less of that good, they find other alternatives and ways to source the good that are illegal and even more harmful to society. At this point, the black market becomes a large factor in the drug market and begins to do harm to society through the sales of illegal, synthetic, and dangerous drugs. People turn to the black market for cheaper prices and lower quality goods and end up doing more harm to themselves and society than they would have in a previous situation.

I find this war on drugs to be very intriguing due to its complex nature and lack of a positive solution. Despite the government’s best efforts to take drugs off of the streets and out of the hands of junkies, drugs will always be a prominent aspect of society. When one producer of drugs is shut down and arrested, another one arises in his spot and continues the cycle. Also, I firmly believe that drug addicts will find drugs, no matter what it takes. If drugs are taken off of the streets in one area, Drug addicts will find somewhere else to buy them from and incorporate drugs into their area’s again. Accordingly, there will be an everlasting demand for drugs and with that demand always comes a supply; an endless cycle of societal destruction and negative consequences.



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  1. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I agree with your point that making markets, especially on addictive substances like drugs and alcohol, does not eradicate the usage or thing itself. If anything it has proven to create more unsafe environments, more crime, and significantly more dangerous laced drugs.

  2. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    Similar to Prohibition, the war on drugs created a black market that made “crime” worse. We as a country have yet to come up with a productive way to curb drug use, and the impact of that is felt in both low income communities and over-populated prisons.

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