Monday, January 03, 2011

Supply is killed, demand persists 2: Harmful drugs

(Note: Part 1 of this series, tobacco, is here)

All high taxation and heavy regulation by governments of certain chemicals and substances are meant to drastically reduce, if not kill, public consumption of those that are deemed "public bads" like harmful and illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco products.

But high consumption of those products is there. Which means governments only succeeded in encouraging more corruption and hypocrisy in their implementation of those prohibitions and regulations.

The following are the most harmful drugs and substances that many people in UK and other parts of the world love to consume. Graph is from The Economist November 2, 2010 issue. Originally published in The Lancet. Click on the graph to see a larger image.

Stimulants like heroine and methampethamine, depressants like alcohol, occupy the top spots.

This poses serious question on public health policies of many governments: If many people acquire self-inflicted pains and diseases, why should those who take care of their body, those who work hard, are over-taxed to finance public health expenditures, including giving free or subsidized treatment to those who deliberately inflict long-term pain and diseases into their body?

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