Cigarettes aren't healthy, sure, but if you bought a packet of fags, and found they were 10% tobacco and 90% horseshit, you'd have the usual consumer rights to sort it out.

The same goes for illegal drugs, like, say, heroin. Since heroin supply is underground, an addict can't stop his supplier from cutting the dose with Ajax.

He might one day get a purer supply than usual, and give himself a massive overdose, or he may inject himself with some other poison.

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In response to imago's followup writeup: In the case of someone dying of lung cancer, the medical professionals caring for him can be fully aware of what is wrong with this person, and what steps can be taken to cure them, or at least make them more comfortable.

In the case of a dying drug taker, all they know is that he ingested a white powder (say), and they must waste time identifying the substance before treatment can begin.

Another point -- drug addicts have very little motivation to seek help as long as they know they can get years in the clinker for doing so. Further, if drugs were legal, they would be much cheaper and above-board, thus

Certainly there is going to be more open drug use if drugs were legalized, and certainly a few more people would try them if they were legal, but remember that legal does not mean moral, condoned, or a good idea. You can't legislate morality and You can't legislate stupidity. The first Prohibition didn't work, and the War on Drugs isn't working much better. See libertarianism.


imago: Even when lung cancer is rather advanced, transplants can still save lives until the cancer has thoroughly metasized throughout the body. Lung cancer is treatable when caught relatively early.

Further, tobacco use has been greatly declining in the U.S. Education works.

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