Consensus is growing that the prohibition on production, supply, and use of certain drugs has not only failed to deliver its intended goals but has been counterproductive. Evidence is mounting that this policy has not only exacerbated many public health problems, but has created a much larger set of social harms associated with the criminal market such as violence, corruption, organised crime, and endemic violence related to the drug market.

  • An economic perspective on the legalisation debate: the Dutch case

    Martijn Adriaan Boermans
    Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 2, No. 4
    Ocober 26, 2010

    Understanding the consequences of drug legalisation versus prohibition is important for policy. Most recently this subject has gained much political attention not only globally, but specifically in the Netherlands. This study will provide a contribution to the legalisation debate based on a microeconomic analysis of the effects of illegal markets. The research question is how to design a coherent soft drugs policy framework that maximizes social welfare within the Netherlands that precludes most historical, sociological and political debates. In particular, attention is restricted to ‘soft drugs’ better known as cannabis derived products like hashish and marijuana.

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  • Reducing Drug Trafficking Revenues and Violence in Mexico

    Would Legalizing Marijuana in California Help?
    Beau Kilmer, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Brittany M. Bond, Peter H. Reuter
    RAND Occasional Paper
    October 2010

    The United States’ demand for illicit drugs creates markets for Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and helps foster violence in Mexico. Some government and media sources have reported that Mexican and Colombian DTOs combined earn $18–$39 billion annually in wholesale drug proceeds and 60 percent of all Mexican DTO drug export revenue comes from marijuana. These numbers have been cited to argue that legalizing marijuana in California would reduce Mexican DTOs’ revenues, thereby reducing violence.

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  • US Federal Government Data on Cannabis Prohibition

    Tools for Debate
    International Centre for Science in Drug Policy
    October 2010

    The report reviews 20 years of data from US government funded surveillance systems on government drug control spending, cannabis seizures and cannabis arrests, in order to assess the impact of enforced cannabis prohibition on cannabis potency, price and availability. The report’s findings highlight the clear failure of cannabis prohibition efforts by showing that as the United States has dramatically scaled up drug law enforcement, cannabis potency has nevertheless increased, prices have dropped, and cannabis remains widely available.

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  • The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition

    Jeffrey A. Miron and Katherine Waldock
    Cato Institute
    September 2010

    The CATO report estimates that legalizing drugs would save roughly $41.3 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. Of these savings, $25.7 billion would accrue to state and local governments, while $15.6 billion would accrue to the federal government. Approximately $8.7 billion of the savings would result from legalization of marijuana and $32.6 billion from legalization of other drugs.

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  • Cannabis in Mexico

    An Open Debate
    Jorge Hernández Tinajero & Leopoldo Rivera Rivera
    IDPC Briefing Paper
    August 2010

    In August 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared that he would support a national debate on the issue of legalisation, reversing his previous stance on the subject. However, he underscored that he did not favour legalisation, particularly since the US and the international community maintained their prohibitionist approach. This IDPC Briefing Paper offers background information on the cannabis political debate in Mexico.

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  • An alternative to the war on drugs

    Stephen Rolles
    British Medical Journal (BMJ)
    Volume 341
    July 17, 2010

    Stephen Rolles argues that we need to end the criminalisation of drugs and set up regulatory models that will control drug markets and reduce the harms caused by current policy. Non-medical drug markets can remain in the hands of unregulated criminal profiteers or they can be controlled and regulated by appropriate government authorities.

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  • Altered State?

    Assessing How Marijuana Legalization in California Could Influence Marijuana Consumption and Public Budgets
    Beau Kilmer, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Robert J. MacCoun, Peter H. Reuter
    RAND Drug Policy Research Center
    July, 2010

    To learn more about the possible outcomes of marijuana legalization in California, RAND researchers constructed a model based on a series of estimates of current consumption, current and future prices, how responsive use is to price changes, taxes levied and possibly evaded, and the aggregation of nonprice effects (such as a change in stigma).

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  • Blueprint for Regulation

    After the War on Drugs
    Stephen Rolles
    Transform Drug Policy Foundation
    November 2009

    There is a growing recognition around the world that the prohibition of drugs is a counterproductive failure. However, a major barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown—just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?

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  • Illicit drugs policy through the lens of regulation

    Alison Ritter
    International Journal of Drug Policy
    November 2009

    The application of regulatory theory to the problem of illicit drugs has generally been thought about only in terms of ‘command and control’. The international treaties governing global illicit drug control and the use of law enforcement to dissuade and punish offenders have been primary strategies. In this paper the application of other aspects of regulatory theory to illicit drugs – primarily self-regulation and market regulation – are explored. There has been an overreliance on strategies from the top of the regulatory pyramid.

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  • Legal Responses to New Psychoactive Substances in Europe

    Brendan Hughes and T Blidaru
    European Legal Database on Drugs
    February 2009

    This paper starts from the premise that, when a new psychoactive substance appears on the licit/illicit market in a country in Europe, legislators need to choose whether to bring it under control of the drug laws, and for public health reasons they may need to do so quickly. A comparative study of the systems and procedures finds that there are a variety of control methods available in the different countries, including the analogue and generic systems, as well as temporary emergency and rapid permanent scheduling procedures.

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