Sheriff Explains the Dangers of Marijuana

Last week there was a shoot-out in Tallahassee, Florida, my home town, after a drug deal gone bad. Two men were shot when, it appears, the buyers attempted to make off with marijuana without paying for it. (Here’s a link to the story, but sorry, for subscribers only.)

Sheriff Larry Campbell said “Many people believe marijuana is not a dangerous drug, but this case is a good example of how dangerous and potentially deadly crimes are often associated with it.”

The men involved were not using the drug, they were buyers and sellers. Using this case as a “good example,” we, along with Sheriff Campbell, can see that marijuana is dangerous not because it is a drug, but because it is illegal.

When the government stands ready to confiscate people’s property rather than protect it, and when the government tries to prevent commerce rather than support it, bad things can happen.

Randall G. Holcombe is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, the DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University, and author of the Independent Institute book Liberty in Peril: Democracy and Power in American History.
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