Milton FriedmanMilton Friedman, (1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, "ultimate guru of the free-market system"

Milton Friedman Quote

“I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my value system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.”

Milton FriedmanMilton Friedman
~ Milton Friedman

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, and it isn't working for drugs.

Cosmo, Free State

  • Reply
Anonymous    5/6/07

Apply the economic model to the problem and the same solution that was found in the US during prohibition of alchohol would be found

  • Reply
    Anonymous    9/8/07

    So-called recreational drugs have ruined more lives than can be counted. It they weren't against the law, the U.S. economy would have crashed by now. Open your eyes fools.

    Mike, Pleasant Hill

    Anonymous, that's your opinion but it doesn't jive with the facts of economics and history of alcohol prohibition.

    Robert, St. Emilion, France

    As much as I have disagreed with MS, on this, I agree...
    Don't be a fooled Anonymous, the war on drugs has cost the nation billions, and the ruined the lives of thousands. If anything, the economy would have flourished and not perished. The US allows many drugs into our food and healthcare industries that kill thousands and yet you seem not to notice... Monsanto products to name one of many...

    jim k, Austin

    This quote is exactly right.

    Mike, Norwalk

    I am in favor of removing the gods of legal positivism's unlawful prohibition against obtaining substances they categorize as harmful to society. Unlike Robert above, I agree with Mr. Friedman more often than not BUT HERE, his couching the objection to his value system (religion) - vs the gods of legal positivism's value system (religion) is, in itself wrong and I have to vehemently disagree. Value systems / morality can not be lawfully legislated (legalizing for or against) or even be used as the foundation of legislation (legalizing for or against). When comparing religions' (Atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu, Muslim, etc.) value systems, the applied policies and statutes are almost always going to violate natural law right(s). When law is legislated, the core values of the many religions are most often available to be expressed by the individual patrons. At law, there is no legal nexus that can authorize a hired servant that represents the individual sovereign's inalienable right(s) (individually and in concert) to mandate by force the master's use or non-use of substances. It has been my legal observation that the here quote's last sentence is far more accurate than not. Perhaps it was Mr. Friedman's intent to use the value analogy (emphasizing the system now infesting this land, that it is no longer a system at law) to give ultimate criticism to the anti-law system that prohibits certain substances. If that were the case, I would give it 5 stars.

    E Archer, NYC

    @Mike, I didn't read as much into Friedman's quote as you. It's not the best argument for 'legalizing drugs -- but the very context supports the model for legal positivism, in that there is no argument being proffered that addresses 'legalization' of anything. Things in and of themselves cannot be 'illegal' in nature -- humans make the distinction. The implication is that things need to be 'legalized' in order to posses them or use them. That, Mike, is perhaps the issue you are addressing.

    Ronw13, Yachats Or

    Legalized plunder, robbery, promoted by an overbearing democratic socialistic mindset, bent on suppression, thriving on oppression of the sovereign individual. War on drugs my ass, if one cannot see the harm done by stigmatizing and Media glorification of rebellion. They are blind ! If you want to nip it in the bud, start with Pharmaceutical companies experimenting through The Doctor's R/x Pads. This is the point of introduction and the cause of abuse and death around the nation. First hand knowledge. Opium and its many forms and shapes are at the core of abuse. Of course this was already known by big pharma as to the outcome when introduced. As also with other large manipulative industrialist such as Monsanto and their societal experiments. Introducing harmful products into the mainstream global market. People are a perishable product, constantly renewing itself. To every generation arises the opportunity to right itself against oppression and manipulation by soulless industrialist bent on domination of the created global market. So to with local and national markets.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Archer, your statement was a good part of what I was trying to say and you explained it well. Additionally, I was trying to point out that it is religious fervor that men use to force their definition of good, best or needful on others. I have my own religion, beliefs and desire for liberty. I desire not to force my religion, belief or desire for liberty on anyone else or have them try and force their religion, beliefs or box of tyranny on me. We are all "things" equal before and at law.

    Ronw13, Yachats Or

    It was our founding fathers and their desire to set our children at Liberty that came to push and shove. Something had to give. " You do not win a war by dying for your country, you win a war by making the other die for their country. " General Patton. We are a nation made strong by faith in our God to supply our need. Whether through victory or restful sleep. Law logic dulls the ear of compassion. I desire not to be lukewarm or passive in my stance on Liberty and Freedom from oppression. Regardless of how much money I have to purchase a little liberty and security.


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