War and Drug Abuse

Laurence Vance has previously written about the conflict between the avowed commitment of Christians and other social conservatives to moral living and the advocacy of war.

In Mark Thornton’s introduction to his book The Economics of Prohibition (featured at Mises.org today), he points out the long, twisted relationship between war, drug abuse and prohibition:

The current prohibitions against narcotics originated with war and foreign-policy considerations in the Far East. In the 1960s foreign-policy considerations which resulted in war in Vietnam brought about increased consumption of drugs and the ensuing intensified war on drugs.

One early lesson from American history is the unmistakable interaction between war, intemperance, and prohibition. Avoiding war is perhaps the most important thing a government can do to avoid intemperance, addiction, and drug abuse. Conversely, drug abuse and prohibitions are a significant long-term cost of war.


11:04 am on September 15, 2006