I've posted before on the preposterious claims of Dr Alex Wodak that decriminalising cannabis use would decrease use. To the extent it provides an additional source of supply not subject to the user costs of relying on illegal markets I find it impossible to believe such claims*. The difficulty with these effoneous claims is that current policies to reduce cannabis use are working effectively. This is a beneficially especially because cannabis use itself is, in fact, increasingly seen as a dangerous illicit drug rather than something benign.
Miranda Devine asks what should be done about Dr Wodak's position as Director of the alcohol and drug services at St Vincents Hospital? I have not heard criticism of his work in this role so I guess not much. But he does speak with a voice of authority. I think he inflicts a lot of false views and hence social damage on the community because of these views but I assume we have to live with that cost as one of the effects of living in a democracy.
Moreover, my experience with the APSAD meetings is that many in the drug treatment industry (those earning good livings from treating those with drug and alcohol problems) are supporters of liberalising policies with respect to illicit drugs. Dr Wodak is not alone. Most of these people have never made any attempt to study economics or other disciplines that address the social effects of eliminating constraints on drug usage and instead look solely at the welfare of patients as they present themselves for treatment right at the time of treatment.
It is a deep problem that many of these supporters of legalising illicit drugs depend for their existence on the public teat. I wonder how many tax payers are aware of this?
(*) A logically consistent claim would be to assert usage might decline with legalisation because people demand cannabis because it is illegal for 'thrill-seeking' reasons. This seems to me farfetched. The legalisation of alcohol after prohibition in the US did not discourage use.