"But let’s set these aside and suppose, for the sake of argument, that the free production, commercialization and consumption of cannabis proves in practice to do no harm, or at least much less harm than other products, such as cigarettes, that are permitted. What then? What would that tell us about policy towards drugs in general?
Such a controlled market would entail the abandonment of the abstract libertarian principle that everyone should be free to do anything he liked so long as he did no (direct) harm to others. It would mean conceding that the state had a legitimate interest in what its citizens did. But it seems to me almost as impossible to envisage the state actually supervising, and therefore inspecting, the sale of all—or indeed any—of the above-mentioned drugs to its citizens, as to imagine a totally free market in them."