I currently have all of alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs taxed to the max (bar all the way right). I have alcohol age set at 16 and narcotics policy set at “legalize cannabis”. I also have the alcohol and tobacco awareness campaigns maxed out. Alcohol and tobacco consumption are at 0 because of their taxes, but legal drug consumption is at about the middle of the chart. It seems odd to me that people can be persuaded to stop drinking and smoking entirely by tax, but not to stop consuming pot.
The first thing I would change would be the impact that the tax has on consumption. Some people are set in their ways and won’t change. Therefore, the curve on the graph between tax level and impact on consumption curves the wrong way. The impact should not accelerate as the tax is raised, rather, it should level off.
The second thing I would add would be a link between tax levels on these items and organized crime. In Canada there is a black market for tobacco products. There is much lower tobacco taxation in the United States, and First Nation reserves generally don’t have tobacco taxation at all (<–I’m not 100% on that one, but it’s definitely lower). This leads to smuggling to get around the taxes, and every so often there will be a big public messaging campaign about “don’t buy black market tobacco”. People are inclined to think it’s no big deal, it is the same product and often even the same brand name, so no big deal right? Just some money saved. However, people are being murdered over the money involved because of who is running these smuggling operations. So, I recommend linking alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs taxes to organized crime with non-linear growth.
Finally, just take a second look at the base levels of consumption of these products, and the impacts that the relevant taxes have on consumption. I see no reason why tobacco smokers should be less set in their ways than pot smokers.
Last minute thought, where is the drug awareness campaign? I’m sure we’ve all seen some “don’t do drugs” commercials in our lives. If not, look up “Stoner sloth” on YouTube…Australians are amazing.