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Who Should We Send to Venus?
  • Joshua Bedi
Joshua Bedi
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How can society reduce drug consumption on Earth while at the same time avoid the burdensome costs of police enforcement and incarceration? Policy makers thus far have the found the answer to this question elusive. However, since the  Great Sunspot of 2071, climate conditions on our interstellar neighbor, Venus, have changed in ways that potentially provide a simple solution to this problem. Climate conditions on Venus are now tolerable enough to sustain human life, and the chemical composition of the atmosphere of Venus has changed such that around 70% of the atmosphere contains a mood-altering chemical that scientists have dubbed Swank. This chemical is highly hallucinogenic and addictive but also conveniently contains all of the essential nutrients necessary for human survival. As a result, life on Venus and life on Earth are now perfect substitutes. This paper explores what the utility function of an ideal candidate for Venus colonization would look like as well as possible implications of proposed programs such as the Drug Addict Relocation Endeavor, or D.A.R.E. In doing so, this paper utilizes previous research done by Becker et al. (1991) on rational addiction and changes in the consumption of addictive goods in response to short term and long term changes in relative prices.