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This means as the war on drugs increases the potency effect of drugs increases. The economist argues that drug dealers and cartels have decided to increase the potency levels of the drugs to measure up the risk associated when caught.
According to the drug dealers, it is better to have a higher risk at a higher price than have a lower priced drug at a higher risk. Drug dealers are looking for any opportunity to have higher incentives as the war on drugs and policies keep changing. The legal charges for drug dealing are very high and therefore drug dealers have to spend more resources in ensuring that they don’t get caught in the process. According to this economist hard drugs like cocaine attract more dealers and are easier to sell since they amount to high values. This argument relates to principle 4 which states that people usually respond to incentives, exploiting opportunities to make themselves better off. Prof Martin also relates this to the 1920s when hard liquor displaced beer in the market during probations as well as why cocaine use spiked in 1970s. Principle 4 argues that people will exploit all opportunities in order to have incentives and they will not stop until all the opportunities are fully exploited. This is the same thing that is happening with drug dealers and cartels. Drug dealers have resorted to increasing the potency level and have also ensured that they spend more to evade police in order to get high profits. This is also the reason why sale of hard drugs like cocaine is easier and highly attractive compared to other weaker drugs. Prof Martin argues that the opportunity cost attached to the sales of hard drugs is higher and therefore the potency level should much it. Prof Martin blames the public policies which have altered incentives for the rising potency levels of drugs. This has made the drug dealing and cartel a much more complex business in the world. This has made the opportunity cost of hard drugs very high as drug
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