Unlike heroin users who will not respond to changes in the price of the drug, cocaine users will consume less as the price increases.
This has led some legalization proponents to follow the logic applied to marijuana, suggesting that cocaine consumption might be better controlled by regulating it, including its corollary costs such as the drug cartels that often corrupt and kill. They believe that taxing the drug can contain or curb consumption. Yet, studies show the legalization of cocaine would at a minimum double use in countries like the United States. While this may not be enough to deter proposals to legalize by some policy experts, SmartDrugPolicy believes that the costs to society still outweigh the theoretically purported benefits such as increased tax revenue or alleged reductions in violence by the cartels, issues discussed in detail under Depenalization and Decriminalization of Trafficking.
Marijuana legalization continues to gather steam as four more states approved measures in November 2016 for its recreational use. Although realizing that a drug-free society is an impossibility, this should concern those who seek to minimize drug use, abuse, and all of its damaging effects on the individual, his or her family, friends, co-workers, and yes, society as whole.
Legalization advocates often point to the potential desirability of such policies, particularly regarding hard drugs, in order to alleviate the inherent costs in source and trafficking countries created by the current prohibitionist regime. What such advocates fail to see is that the resulting costs will likely be greater to all concerned, especially for those in consumer countries without significant benefits accruing to producing and transshipment countries. Legalization alone will not address the deeply imbedded factors that contribute to their violence and corruption in the first place. Therefore, SmartDrugPolicy will dedicate itself to researching, analyzing and advocating drug policies fair to all.