Public: Drug Politics
Fake Crack   (+3, -5)  [vote for, against]
A trojan horse in the war on drugs

[Note: The small-l libertarian in me is not sure I approve of even crack being illegal, but the idea in question would be not only be probably lots more efficient in combatting the stuff, but probably more humane as well.]

If they really want to cut down on the use of crack cocaine, the appropriate authorities should deploy fake drug dealers, selling only those myriad harmless fake versions of crack (baking soda rocks, or whatever it is they're using nowadays).

Not only would this keep people from actually using the stuff, but it would undermine confidence in the whole crack industry if a big portion of the crack on the streets was only useful in making cookies. The effect would be to effectively drive up the price of crack for the users, by requiring several purchases to ensure getting one "active" rock, while driving down the profit margin for real crack dealers, by making them compete against cheap government-funded imitation crack. This would discourage new users for reasons both financial (right now, crack is cheap to start) and pharmaceutical (if your first dose of crack is actually baking soda, you won't get anything out of it and probably won't get another), and, to a lesser extent, limit the intake of current users (raising tobacco prices has only a minimal effect on consumptions, addicts being what they are, but it's a start). It would likewise hurt current dealers, by cutting into crack's awesome profit margin, and discourage new entries into the market.

There are some disadvantages, I admit. First off, the entrapment issue. To this end, I think that nobody should be arrested for buying from a fake crack dealer. Not only would this solve the entrapment issue, but it might even give fake crack dealers something of an edge, as they would never be in prison like the competition (though they'd work better as single-mission guys, to keep their reputations from getting ahead of them). Secondly, there's the safety of the fake dealers. However, not only does this go just as much for the police right now, a fake crack dealer could be accompanied by several heavily-armed fake crack dealer bodyguards without standing out. Third, there's the ethics of the government taking money from the desperate addicted, but these days only a few liberals like me are likely to care. Finally, and most importantly, it might cause hard-core crack addicts to become even more desperate. A reasonable point, but not even I think crack being cheap is doing them a favor.
-- Uncle Nutsy, Oct 31 2000

Non-exploding Explosives http://www.halfbake...sives#972940467-2-1
The inspiration for this idea. [Uncle Nutsy, Oct 31 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Non-exploding Explosives http://www.halfbake....html#972940467-2-1
The inspiration for this idea. [Uncle Nutsy, Oct 21 2004]

Other fake crack. Fake_20rubber_20ass
[bungston, Apr 18 2005]

And another fake crack http://www.pjstrick...m/products/1507.asp
[Freefall, Apr 18 2005]

Surely there's some easy test to distinguish the real stuff from baking soda (or any other reasonably cheap facsimile); dealers would presumably start offering to perform the test on the spot.
-- egnor, Nov 01 2000

Also, wouldn't you *know* your dealer?

I hear there's a lot of repeat business in addictive substances. Fake crack wouldn't work for the same reasons fake gasoline wouldn't; after your first tank full of, say, Mountain Dew you'd simply never shop there again.
-- jutta, Nov 01 2000

I'm not sure... do crack addicts know their dealers? If they do, why do the dealers have to stand on street corners?
-- egnor, Nov 01 2000

Yeah, I know, some of you are skipping this because it's one of "Afro's crazy blowing-things-up ideas," but maybe they could make a crack rock that blows up after they smoke through the first layer. Hey, that's almost like a Gobstopper!!
-- AfroAssault, Nov 01 2000

I think you ought to expand this into a 80 page thesis and rock the econ department. Or try for a grant from the government. Being that our next pres is an expert in crack cocaine, he'll need more than Nancy Regan to float a War on Drugs campaign. Your experiment might be just what his administration needs.
-- morecheeseplease, Dec 07 2000

Rock - haha
-- oic, Dec 07 2000

Although I am 100% against the use of street drugs I would like to see users get free rehab treatment rather than prison time (providing they don't support their habit with criminal activity) but pushers and manufacturers get an automatic and swift death penalty. That would free up the prison system to deal with violent and other criminals and rapists, etc rather than let them walk early to commit their crimes again. Plus I would advocate much increased spending on education and work training for the sectors of the population who are susceptible to drug use.
-- Jonathan, Dec 22 2000

Jonathan: There's something a little counterintuitive about executing drug dealers and manufacturers to create prison space for rapists and murderers. If you're going to execute anyone, why not someone who's committed what's already a capital offense?
-- Uncle Nutsy, Dec 22 2000

Reverse harm reduction?
-- rapid transit, May 21 2003

I'm not sure crack is all that cheap. Sure a vial is five bucks, but someone with a reasonably healthy appetite for the stuff can easily go through hundreds of dollars' worth on a binge.

It's currently illegal (in New York State) to sell fake drugs.
-- snarfyguy, May 21 2003

TomBomb: It's implicit in the post that the idea applies to street-level dealers, not high-level volume dealers.
-- snarfyguy, May 21 2003

I would fear this plan winding up in varying the potency greatly. Sounds like a good way to end up with overdoses.
-- Worldgineer, May 21 2003

As a drug user, I realize that this could only work to a very limited degree. A drug dealer's only way of getting new business is through meeting new people, and having those people bring their friends to you. If you sell me some bad shit, I'm gonna' tell you it was bad. I'm gonna' tell my friends it was bad. I'm not going to buy off of you ever again. My friends won't buy off of you. My friends' friends won't buy off of you. Soon you have no clients as I eventually find a real drug dealer with real drugs. The idea of puting thousands of drug dealers out there to dilude the drug pool would slow down someone on drugs... annoy them... but eventually they'd find a real dealer and stick with him. And if it got to that point, it would probably become common practice to do the drugs with your dealer so you can be sure that you get high. In some cases this could put the 'fake' dealer in a lot of danger.... desperate crack addicts are noone to be fucking with. Terrible idea, terrible intentions.... follow your liberal heart and just stick to the liberatarian idea that victimless crimes shouldn't be prosecuted.
-- sheep, Feb 19 2004

//after your first tank full of, say, Mountain Dew//

I don't know why I found this so damn funny...
-- Detly, Feb 19 2004

Drugs have always been around and always will be. I don't see what the big focus on Crack is. What about Caffiene Alcohol and Nicotine? Not to mention prescription drugs that are derived from the Opium Poppy? Is the person that had a tooth pulled a heroin Junkie because he gets addicted to Vicodin? YES! And what about the Ubiquitous Methamphetimine spreading like a cancer across the US in the 80s'??? It seems to have found its way into the smallest rural community with horrible results??? What about all of these real problems?? My answer, Humans Being. People will always want drugs by nature, its a part of life. I am for decriminalization of "Victimless Crimes" if there is such thing. The bottom line it is a problem without a solution. You can't make everybody perfect. Who would want to be perfect. The best way to prevent drug use is to teach children to take their minds to a higerlevel without the assistance of chemicals and to remove the mystery and intrigue that makes them curious enough to try Pot Ciggerettes and Alcohol. Confident, Intelligent and Informed People don't do stupid things on purpose. Instill Wisdom into your children. It is the mystery and Prohibition of drugs that makes them so appealing. Take your kid to a methadone clinic someday and say. "These people need this stuff so they can Live". Who knows, he just may get the message.

-- device9, Mar 09 2004

The main problems I see are

1) The 'government' dealers have a bad reputation for selling dodgy stuff from day 1. Crack addicts know each other. So it would be - like - 1 day before no-one buys from 'Johnny' as everyone knows him asa government agent.

2) 'Johnny' is likely to get himself shot by a junkie thats just been ripped off or another drug dealer.
-- britboy, Mar 10 2004

Addicts would just find another place to buy crack. This is utterly ridiculous, like most drug/tobacco politics ideas here.

[snarfyguy], it's illegal on a federal level to 'market' anything as illegal drugs, whether or not they're drugs--meaning, as you say, it's illegal to sell fake drugs. The idea here is irrelevant to that--undercover agents already commit crimes (smoking/selling real crack) to prevent bigger crimes (ie, to get inside a ring so as to shut it down), and that's been ruled legal by pretty much every court in the land. This is a (confused non-starter) extension of that idea.
-- disbomber, Apr 16 2005

Damn. I thought this was going to be some sort of device for male sexual gratification.
-- Basepair, Apr 16 2005

I was going to suggest that substance abuse is related to an individuals inevitable failure to rise to the top in our extremely jealous and aspirational societies. Then it occured to me that it's pretty easy to get rats addicted to morphine. Do you like my tail?
-- weedy, Apr 16 2005

//Damn. I thought this was going to be some sort of device for male sexual gratification//

Laughed so hard at this i sprayed coffee all over my monitor.
-- Phobophobe, Apr 18 2005

[Phobophobe] sorry about that.
-- Basepair, Apr 19 2005

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