Tim Worstall makes the point that drug legalization is now about quality control: the stuff is so strong that it better be dosed in a lab because it’s close to impossible to do on the street.

Fentanyl related deaths are soaring. Check.

Here’s the old school problem. It costs $5K to make a Kg in China, and it’s not hard. That sells for $50K in America. That can be divided into 330K doses. Check.

The new school problem is not how much money that is worth. The problem is 330K doses means each one is 3 micrograms.

YOU do not know how big that is. Here you go: imagine taking an eyelash and dividing it into 25 pieces. Each one would be 3 micrograms. Here’s the equipment you’d need to just weight that.

Alternatively, you could cut your kilo. Here’s how that would work:

- Start with 1 Kg uncut, and add 1 Kg corn starch.
- Now take your 2 Kg, and add 2 kg more corn starch.
- Take your 4 Kg, and add 4 Kg more corn starch.
- Take your 8 Kg, and add 8 Kg more corn starch.
- Take your 16 Kg, and add 16 Kg more corn starch.
- That gets you to something that’s still 3 times as strong as pure heroin. But, whatever:
- Now divide that 64 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 2 piles of 32 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 4 piles of 16 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 8 piles of 8 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 16 piles of 4 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 32 piles of 2 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 64 piles of 1 Kg in two, and
- Divide each of those 128 piles of 500 g in two, and
- Divide each of those 256 piles of 250 g in two, and
- Divide each of those 512 piles of 125 g in two, and
- Divide each of those 1,024 piles of 62.5 g in two, and
- Divide each of those 2,048 piles of 31,250 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 4,096 piles of 15,625 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 8,192 piles of 7,812 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 16,384 piles of 3,906 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 32,768 piles of 1,953 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 65,536 piles of 976 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 131,072 piles of 488 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 262,144 piles of 244 mg in two, and
- Divide each of those 524,288 piles that are the typical street size of 0.1 g that goes for $10.
- Oh … and don’t make any mistakes … and don’t breath in the dust or touch it with your bare skin.
- And yes, the arithmetic doesn’t work out exactly, so you’ll have to fudge it a bit.
- Oh … and … I have a Ph.D. and I did this math incorrectly by hand and had to set up a spreadsheet to make sure it checked.

What our society does is presume that a bunch of minimally educated drug dealers can do this, with quality control provided by a bunch of addled users. Because it’s illegal to do it otherwise.

Get a clue: we haven’t lost the drug war so much as we’ve lost at the math problem. This is now an innumeracy issue.

And it can’t get better since the chemists are not done finding fentanyl variants that are stronger, and make the math tougher.

I’ve been in favor of legalization (on the demand side) since the early 1980’s. Now I’m stepping up my game: we need legalization (on the supply side) of accurately dosed product for end users.