cover image: Twenty-First Century Illicit Drugs and Their Discontents: Finis - Paul J. Larkin


Twenty-First Century Illicit Drugs and Their Discontents: Finis - Paul J. Larkin

20 May 2024

Larkin This is the tenth and last paper in The Heritage KEY TAKEAWAYS Foundation’s series on Twenty-First Century Illicit Drugs and Their Discontents.1 At the The criminal justice system is necessary to end of each prior paper, I have offered several policy ensure an orderly society and should be proposals that I hoped would alleviate some of the used regardless of the race or religion of offender. [...] Refusing to accept that reality is foolish.” There has always been a vocal debate over the success, merit, and desirability of the respective drug policy strategies of criminalization and legalization.15 The literature on the two sides of this debate almost out- numbers the stars in the heavens, and it shows no sign of letting up.16 I do not believe that we will solve America’s illicit drug proble. [...] Addictive drugs have the short-term effect of offering a user a euphoria that people seek but cannot find in their Thoreauvian “lives of quiet desperation.” But this comes at a price in the form of a lost abil- ity to live a life without the “fix” necessary to stave off the physical and LEGAL MEMORANDUM | No. [...] Their use can lead to a life resembling the one that Thomas Hobbes described in the state of nature: a life that is “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”26 In the case of fentanyl, death is “just a shot away.”27 Methamphetamine is different. [...] Conclusion As a legal scholar at The Heritage Foundation, all I can do to alleviate the drug-related misfortunes that the different illicit drugs discussed in this series pose for others is to identify problems, analyze them to the best of my LEGAL MEMORANDUM | No.
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