Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Final Version, and Double Defaults

The published version of the paper is available, for those with SpringerLink access, here. The main substantive change from Draft Five is that I now view the appropriate regulatory regime for the relatively "hard" drugs to involve a "double default". The first default setting is that adults are not allowed to purchase these drugs. This default can be overridden, however, by the acquisition of a buyer's license. (Past drug-related misbehavior would imply that this override would not be available for all adults.) Buyer (and seller) licensing has been part of my preferred scheme throughout the drafts. What is new to the published version is the terms under which a licensed individual can receive her drug of choice. This is where the second default comes in. The terms (waiting periods, prices, quantity limits) of access would themselves have default settings, not just legal limits. Those defaults would be set rather conservatively, in an effort to lower the likelihood that an occasional user would end up as a compulsive user. Licensed buyers could override the default terms (within the legal limits), though at some cost when the overrides are in the direction of more liberal access. The idea is that the first default (licensing) is aimed at controlling overall prevalence, while the second default (terms of access) is aimed at intemperate consumption.

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