Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
29 March 2018
A libertarian view on the opioid crisis
As a brand guy, I recognize that one of the most powerful values a brand can have is a resolution of internal mental conflicts. I know what you are thinking. How does any of that involve the opioid crisis in the US?
Brand theory connects with opioid abuse powerfully.
So, let me say upfront that I hold libertarian views on illegal drugs. I say make them legal. All of them. Not just pot. Experience in brand teaches me that value ties to scarcity.
We highly value anything that is scarce. And scarcity defines itself as a perception, not a reality. Science tells us that diamonds are much more abundant than DeBeers would have us believe. DeBeers limits quantities because a flood of gemstones would crash their market value.
I recognize that drugs are readily available to those that covet them. But illegality gives the perception of scarcity.
“Let people chose. Hold manufacturers responsible for side effects. Problems like addiction, job loss, rehabilitation, and associated crime.”
Should we execute drug dealers in our war on the opioid crisis?
Absolutely not. That won’t fix anything. Just remove the market incentives and they go away on their own. They have enough blood on their hands. I prefer not to have their blood on mine.
Legalizing drugs takes out the middleman. It also ensures consistency in product.
We would not find fentanyl-laced cocaine in drugs if they were legal. No one in business wants to kill customers. The opioid crisis will wane because legitimate brands have a desire to keep customers coming back for more. Dying kind of defeats that purpose.
I’m not one of those people who think all regulation is bad. I believe government owns the obligation to regulate things that have a negative impact on our lives. The opioid crisis is not new. It has been with us. I’m, of course, talking about heroin use.
And we hold the drug as illegal. Nothing new here.
What we succeed in doing is pushing another tough job onto public servants. It is the providence of law enforcement and emergency services now.
Personally, I believe the care of addiction belongs in the lap of drug manufacturers. Make it legal, legislate that the makers have responsibility to the addicts and users and make the manufacturers pay for it.
Can we legislate activity?
I think not. It has never worked.
Dope has been illegal forever in my memory. And yours. How has that worked out?
So fellow libertarians and freedom advocates — act. Let’s solve the brand problem of reducing internal conflicts and practice what we believe. Let people chose. Hold manufacturers responsible for side effects. Problems like addiction, job loss, rehabilitation, and associated crime.
Watch. Our system works better than you might think.
Or, are you someone willing to live with internal conflicts?
I guess we will wait and see.
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