Monday, December 26, 2011

I see dead people. But not many from marijuana use.

I found this link on Samizdata. 

In the year 2010 in the U.K., there were 81,400 tobacco-related deaths and 8,644 alcohol-related deaths. 

Take out the big two (that have been subsidized by the U.S. government), and you're left with these, the drugs that are produced or distributed by the Mexican Drug Lords:

The numbers drop even further if you eliminate Poly-Drug deaths, (snorting coke while drinking Jim Beam, mixing any two in an unwise combination, etc.)  Call it 900 people. 

Here's a handy chart:

Please go here and read the whole thing, and to gather zingers like this one: 
According to the ONS data, in 2010 there were more helium deaths than cannabis, ecstasy, mephedrone and GHB related deaths combined. Helium is an inert gas which kills when people use helium to deprive themselves of oxygen. The recent explosion in helium deaths from under two per year until 2008 to 32 last year appears to be due to it’s recent promotion as a form of suicide.

In the meantime, here's how many Mexicans (most of them innocent civilians) have been slaughtered in the four years since Mexican President Felipe Calderon decided to participate in the War On Drugs four years ago:


Here's how many Mexicans died in the Drug War in 2010, the year in which 900 died from drug abuse in the U.K.:


When we decided to end prohibition of alcohol, the violence on the U.S./Canadian border ended. Alcholism didn't increase.  Corruption decreased. 
Yeah, people still died from alcohol abuse, just like they were already dying from alcohol abuse.
We could do the same thing tomorrow, and save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
We could reduce the pain and suffering of cancer patients. 
But thanks to the Narc lobby, the prison lobby, and yes, the alcohol lobby, we won't do it. 

Mr. Obama, please end your dirty little war

The pic of the float from El Salvador's Anti Obama Drug War protest came from here. 
The conclusions about the massive waste of resources in the UK Drug War are terrifying, and the UK Drug War ain't nothing like our Drug War in the U.S. 


Anonymous said...

Well I guess since amphetamines only caused 33 deaths then it's as safe (or safer) as mother's milk...
Do you see how retarded this line of reasoning is yet? O.k. why don't you supply it freely to your children and siblings? I guess based on your reckoning you'd rather have them smoke rocks than join the swim team, since pools kill more people each year?

Nick Rowe said...

Sorry, I have to agree with Anonymous. The top line on this table, heroin, kills fewer than 500 people - a minuscule number. The social damage of heroin is not measured by the number of people who die using it, but rather the social and personal decay surrounding its use.

I don't know how you call alcohol and tobacco "subsidized" when they are both heavily taxed. A pack of cigarettes today costs twice as much as what a carton cost in my youth. Throw in the massive tobacco settlement where government collected tax on both ends of the transaction.

Recall that before Prohibition, alcoholism was rampant in American society and men would routinely beat their wives and children in drunken rages. It was women, more than anyone else, who fought the Devils Brew. Even though Prohibition failed and caused some visible problems, it largely stopped the prior abuses.

Alcohol is also monopolized at the distributor level, resulting in far higher prices than we would otherwise see. It's hard to believe some liter bottles of liquor are more than $30. These monopolies are granted by local governments - for a price. In some states, only government can sell alcohol.

Deaths due to alcohol and tobacco are high - well - precisely because they are legal. As soon as you legalize the others, they will soar. Many people do not use drugs for the sole reason that they are illegal.

The Mexican drug deaths are, I believe, more the result of internal battles over cocaine trafficking, not marijuana.

I'm not sure why a libertarian would think legalizing drugs is the solution when he correctly observes how deep government involvement in the legal drugs are and how many people they kill.

CenTexTim said...

I'm with Allen on this one, but not because of the statistics. It's more a matter of principle.

Get the government out of my personal life. If I choose to smoke - whether it be cigarettes, marijuana, or crack - drink, or inject, or eat Big Macs, for that matter, that's my business. I am willing to accept the consequences of my behavior.

Government's role should be to help ensure that my behavior does not impact others. If demon rum makes me beat my wife, throw me in jail. But don't stop other people who don't beat their wives from having a drink.

Granted, the issue is more complex than that. For example, where do we draw the line on providing social services for the beaten wives? But IMO I have the individual right to go to hell in my own way. The government has no right to interfere with that.

Just my $.02 worth...

Nick Rowe said...

I don't really care if we legalize marijuana as long as people use it in their own homes or in private clubs. I was walking through the Tenderloin today and the stench was awful. Funny, but I remember it smelling a lot better when I was a teenager.

If it is ever legalized, you can expect government to be so involved, the black market will still thrive. You can also expect there to be a new, cool drug of choice for the anti-establishment people. If it's legal, it ain't cool anymore.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I'm not saying that meth isn't dangerous or harmful. I'm saying that if someone does it, I have no business locking them up in a cage.

I'm kinda in a hurry here, but when I said subsidized, it was in the past tense. We used to subsidize tobacco farmers. Ditto for the people who grow the grains (wheat, barley, etc.) used in distilleries.
It was illegal to beat wives and children before, during, and after prohibition. I can't find any stats claiming that alcoholism rose after demon rum was legalized. I think the companion volume to the Ken Burns prohibition series is where I saw the stats about alcoholism not increasing after legalization.
What DID increase during the prohibition era is the number of little old ladies making bathtub gin. People grew to have total contempt for law enforcement.

Yeah, the Pennsylvania liquor store monopoly is goofy. Growing a weed is a lot easier than distilling "spirits", and that's why I have hope that if we end plant prohibition, the govt won't be able to make money off of it.

I honestly don't believe marijuana legalization will cause many deaths. Honest to God, I'd much rather work in my warehouse with someone who smoked a joint the night before than with someone who knocked off a 12-pack. The smoker will be far less dangerous. Look closely at the charts !!

r.e. Mexico - Check out the headlines from Mexico every couple of weeks. The deaths are from innocents in the crossfire. Law enforcement cannot exist when Drug Lord billionaires can buy and sell the cops like pawns.

clik down said...

wtf you can't die from cannabis this whole blog's a fucking lie open your eyes !!!!!