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In 1991 Nobel economist Milton Friedman (pictured above giving a talk at AEI, exact year unknown) was interviewed by Emmy Award-winning drug reporter Randy Paige on “America’s Drug Forum,” a national public affairs talk show that appeared on public television stations. In the interview, Milton Friedman discussed in detail his views on America’s War on Drugs, legalization of drugs, the role of government in a free society, and his pessimistic view of America’s future if we continue moving in the direction of socialism.
To bring awareness to this immoral, failed, costly, and shameful war on the American people, here’s some commentary below from Nobel economist Milton Friedman.
The case for prohibiting drugs is exactly as strong and as weak as the case for prohibiting people from overeating. We all know that overeating causes more deaths than drugs do. If it’s in principle OK for the government to say you must not consume drugs because they’ll do you harm, why isn’t it all right to say you must not eat too much because you’ll do harm? Why isn’t it all right to say you must not try to go in for skydiving because you’re likely to die? Why isn’t it all right to say, “Oh, skiing, that’s no good, that’s a very dangerous sport, you’ll hurt yourself”? Where do you draw the line?
I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there’s a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they’re sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now. Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol, went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.