Cheap drugs for addicts may wipe out problem

November 7, 1997

SUPPLYING drug addicts with cheap heroin and cocaine and then making prices repressively high could dramatically reduce thenumber of new users and smash the drug market, concludes research by economist Aloys Prinz. The illegal drugs market should be divided into "addicts" and "newcomers", Dr Prinz argues in the latest issue of Economic Policy. Drug trafficking would remain illegal, but existing addicts could buy drugs at nominal prices, so they would not be encouraged to sell drugs to newcomers to fund an expensive habit. The illegal drugs on the market would remainprohibitively expensive.

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