400,000 consumers of party pills have now been told by 109 MPs that they may no longer legally purchase or consume party pills, and Matt Bowden of the Social Tonics Association is clear what the result of prohibition will be. "400,000 people have been sent into the arms of the gangs," he told Mike Hosking this morning.
In their eight years on the market there have been neither deaths nor serious injuries due to party pills, but the ban now means those looking for a safer alternative to alcohol or tobacco will have to look elsewhere, and criminals looking for new markets to tap have just been handed a new one on a plate. As Green MP Metiria Turei said, ""He (Mr) Anderton put our young people at risk to meet his own political objectives."
Because when criminals sell drugs, the safety of their buyers is far from a priority -- politicians who have just voted to make gangsters rich would do well to brush up on Milton Friedman's 'Iron Law of Prohibition' so they may fully understand the disaster they've just unleashed on New Zealanders. Says Friedman:
"Prohibition encourages dealers to produce and provide the stronger, more harmful product. If you are a drug dealer in Hackney, you can use the kilo of cocaine you own to sell to casual coke users who will snort it and come back a month later – or you can microwave it into crack, which is far more addictive, and you will have your customer coming back for more in a few hours. Prohibition encourages you to produce and provide the more harmful drug."
Look for up to 400,000 people (many of whom had been weaned of harder drugs by the legal high of party pills) to now be wooed by suppliers of stronger, more harmful products in streets near you soon.