Friedman og dópið

Milton Friedman dó í vikunni. Ég hef ekki skrifað um það, en hef lesið slatta af því, sem um hann hefur verið skrifað. Það eru kannski ekki allir sem vita um skoðanir Friedmans á eiturlyfjum. Hann hafði að mínu mati skynsamar skoðanir á þeim málefnum.

Rogier van Bakel [skrifar](http://www.bakelblog.com/nobodys_business/2006/11/milton_friedman.html) stuttlega um þetta mál, en lítið hefur verið minnst á eiturlyfjaskoðanir hans eftir að hann dó:

>Friedman was an adviser to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and greatly influenced Margaret Thatcher (icons of squaredom, all). To be sure, for all his sway over those leaders’ economic policies, Friedman utterly failed to convince them that drug prohibition produces nothing but colossal social and financial failure. But it’s also a reality that, to use some time-tested lefty jargon, he fearlessly spoke truth to power, never bending or obfuscating his views on personal freedom just to avoid giving offense to his political masters.

Það er magnað að Friedman hafi tekist að færa almenningsálitið svo nálægt sínum skoðunum í mörgum efnahagsmálum, en honum mistókst algerlega að breyta almenningsálitinu þegar kemur að eiturlyfjamálum. Svo ég vitni í orð Friedman, sem van Bakel vitnar í:

>Informers are not needed in crimes like robbery and murder because the victims of those crimes have a strong incentive to report the crime. In the drug trade, the crime consists of a transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. Neither has any incentive to report a violation of law. On the contrary, it is in the self-interest of both that the crime not be reported. That is why informers are needed. The use of informers and the immense sums of money at stake inevitably generate corruption — as they did during Prohibition. They also lead to violations of the civil rights of innocent people, to the shameful practices of forcible entry and forfeiture of property without due process.

Satt, Milton! Satt!

Og svo þessi [snilld frá Friedman](http://www.druglibrary.org/special/friedman/prohibition_and_drugs.htm). Hann súmerar algerlega í einni málsgrein mína skoðun á eiturlyfjum:

>On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults, I, for one, Would answer no. Reason with the potential addict, yes. Tell him the consequences, yes. Pray for and with him, yes. But I believe that we have no right to use force, directly or indirectly, to prevent a fellow man from committing suicide, let alone from drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Og svo þetta:

>But, you may say, must we accept defeat? Why not simply end the drug traffic? That is where experience under Prohibition is most relevant. We cannot end the drug traffic. We may be able to cut off opium from Turkey but there are innumerable other places where the opium poppy grows. With French cooperation, we may be able to make Marseilles an unhealthy place to manufacture heroin but there are innumerable other places where the simple manufacturing operations involved can be carried out. So long as large sums of money are involved-and they are bound to be if drugs are illegal-it is literally hopeless to expect to end the traffic or even to reduce seriously its scope. In drugs, as in other areas, persuasion and example are likely to be far more effective than the use of force to shape others in our image.

Hvenær ætli Friedman hafi skrifað þetta?

Jú, fyrir **34 árum**. Hefur ástandið batnað? NEI! Ég er sannfærður um að ástandið í heiminum væri umtalsvert betra í dag ef að menn hefðu ekki bara hlustað á hagfræðinginn Friedman tala um efnahagsmál, heldur líka hlustað á hann tala um eiturlyf.

Já, svo mæli ég með [þessari skemmtilegu bók](http://www.amazon.com/High-Society-Ben-Elton/dp/0552999954/sr=8-6/qid=1163946631/ref=pd_bbs_6/102-6152500-3549730?ie=UTF8&s=books) eftir snillinginn Ben Elton. Ég las hana í Víetnam og hún er verulega skemmtileg auk þess sem hún veltir upp mörgum áhugaverðum punktum í tengslum við lögleiðingu eiturlyfja.