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The only argument that you missed that some people may argue is that their taxes (Especially in Norway where taxes are very high) are now going to helping drug addicts get their next hit for free. Some people don't want that to happen, no matter how much good it does otherwise. The rest of your post is spot-on, it's just important to consider arguments from every side.

I know there are a lot of good responses to this argument ("you'd be paying for a jail cell anyway", "it's a net benefit to society", etc), but you have to remember that there is a very large portion of society that think drug users are inherently terrible people unworthy of help and won't listen to any logic beyond that. Although HN is made up of people who are willing to think through arguments fully and recognize why this program would result in a net-benefit to society (at least, in theory - it hasn't been tested yet), it's important to remember that people exist outside the HN bubble. To these people, the idea of helping someone obtain drugs (especially the government helping someone obtain drugs) is a terrible idea, hard stop.




Considering that the alternative is to have your taxes pay for free boarding in jail buying drugs is actually a bargain.


What if it reduces the disincentives to becoming a heroin addict?


Sending them to jail doesn't work. I think we have learned that during the war on drugs. Maybe send them to therapy or just let them do their thing? I used to know a heroin addict who made enough money to afford his heroin and he held a job successfully. He would sometimes disappear for a few days but I have seen that with heavy drinkers too. I think most drugs can be managed as well or badly as alcoholism.


I have a distant relative in Belarus who is a heroin addict for 25 years. Periodically he is thrown into a jail for stealing stuff. When he is released his close relatives have to watch for their stuff as he tries to still from them. But he only still to pay for heroin. If he will be provided free heroin, he will be harmless and may even do something useful as his mental and physical health AFAIK is still OK.


Being a heroin addict already sucks - the main disencientives are that you will probably die, that you’ll get dope sick, that you’ll lose friends and family. People who get into heroin don’t do it because of some cost benifit analysis, but because they are truely desperate.


Good point, it's an issue of optics really, regardless of the actual costs involved.

It's certainly not the drug itself that is so expensive; the unit cost of an individual dose of any of the common opiates, when purchased through a pharmaceutical channel, is going to be less than a rounding error.


Distribution and consumption details would both be political nightmares, even if a legislative body agreed on the core principal being important and the public at large was on board.


Those people need to realise that more of their taxes would go to apprehend, try and imprison the same individuals.

I know some people will still prefer punishing others to helping them, but at that point I don't think their opinion is worth much.


If 'free' is the problem then just legalise/decriminalise it, and sell it at a pharmacies like any other drug. The retail cost of heroin would be pretty low if legalised (around the cost of alcohol or tobacco?), so you can still solve the problem without subsidising the costs.


If I recall correctly, the Canadian equivalent has a longer term rehab upstairs from the area where the drugs are given out. The staff makes people aware it’s an option. People who may otherwise never interact with medical professionals.




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