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Elon Musk Revives Debate on the Legalization of Cocaine

The billionaire believes there is a simple way to decide whether to legalize a drug.
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The new year is often conducive to personal resolutions. 

It is often a question of health but also of savings. In this period of economic uncertainty due to a possible recession on the horizon, it is not excluded that most of the resolutions for 2023 relate to the best way to preserve purchasing power.

Of course, you can expect the traditional resolutions such as playing the lotto, going back to the gym, working less, eating more balanced and healthy, stopping smoking, or reducing the use of your car.

On the side of the government, the question is often to know what will be the priority in the political agenda. Lobbies, associations and civil society take the opportunity to push for the adoption of laws on issues that are important to them. 

The debates on the legalization and decriminalization of drugs often come up. For a long time, these debates often focused on the decriminalization of cannabis at both the local and federal levels. But since marijuana is no longer illegal in many states, some are beginning to push the idea of ​​legalizing hard drugs like cocaine.

'That Was Dumb'

We find this debate in particular on social networks. Elon Musk, who in 2022 became the most influential CEO in the world, did not hesitate to get involved. 

For the Techno King, as he's known at Tesla, banning drugs is not completely a good thing for society. He takes the example of alcohol. He believes that banning alcohol was a "dumb" decision and that it contributed to the rise in crime in America.

It all started with a message from a Twitter user, a fan of Tesla, with whom Musk regularly exchanges on the platform. The account in question indicates in their message that 2023 is going to be "Wild", with a link to an article from The Economist advocating for the decriminalization of cocaine. 

The article caused a sensation when it was published last October. The headline was very provocative: "Joe Biden is too timid: It is time to legalize cocaine. The costs of prohibition outweigh the benefits."

"Banning alcohol caused the biggest rise in organized crime in American history," Musk commented. "That was dumb. Same logic applies to other drugs. Alcohol is just a legacy drug."

This comment pleased the Twitter user who saw it as a way for Musk to support the legalization of cocaine.

"We all doing lines at twitter hq if it happens?" the user said.

It was then that the CEO of Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report and the founder of SpaceX made an important clarification.

"I am not endorsing drugs, but I am saying that the evidence suggests that banning them is a net societal negative," Musk said.

'Acid Test'

The billionaire insists that it is important to determine whether a drug is good or bad for society. To do this, he says, all you have to do is ask yourself if the drug in question makes you a better person once you've used it. He calls the tests, the "acid test."

He adds that cocaine for him fails this test, meaning it is not in society's interest to legalize it contrary to the Twitter user's original post.

"To assess if a drug is good, whether legal or illegal, the acid test is being able to say: [blank] made me a better person," Musk said. "Cocaine does not meet that test."

Advocates of cocaine legalization want to ride the marijuana wave, especially after President Biden kept a campaign promise by announcing last October that he was pardoning all federal marijuana simple possession convictions.

They argue that former President Richard Nixon's war on drugs, especially cocaine, has not really eliminated this problem. Global production hit a record of 1,982 tons in 2020, according to the latest data, cited by The Economist

These poor figures were reached in spite of the fact that the United States disbursed large financial means to reduce the supply. Between 2000 and 2020 the federal injected billions of dollars into Colombia to suppress production.

Cocaine was made illegal after studies concluded that it was a drug that caused seizures, heart failure, respiratory failure, cerebral hemorrhage, and strokes. It is also addictive.