Collective Action and Individual Choice

Governments across the globe have squandered treasure and imprisoned millions of their own citizens by criminalising the use and sale of recreational drugs. But use of these drugs has remained relatively constant, and the primary victims are the users themselves. Meanwhile, antimicrobial drugs that once had the powerinfo-icon to cure infections are losing their ability to do so, compromising the health of people around the world. The thesis of this essay is that policymakers should stop wasting resources trying to fight an unwinnable and morally dubious warinfo-icon against recreational drug users, and start shifting their attention to the serious threat posed by our collective misuse of antibiotics. 

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Published in: Journal of Medical Ethics
2013 39 (4) Pages 752-756

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