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.

  • Prohibition versus Legalization

    Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?
    Mark Thornton
    The Independent Review
    Winter 2007

    Economists have been among the leading critics of current drug policies, but this criticism does not mean they have reached a consensus about specific reforms. Although drug-policy researchers and economists in general seem opposed to prohibition, they are timid in their advocacy of decriminalization and even less supportive of legalization.

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  • The Market for Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs

    Gary S. Becker, Kevin M. Murphy & Michael Grossman
    Working Paper
    October 2005

    This paper considers the costs of reducing consumption of a good by making its production illegal, and punishing apprehended illegal producers. We use illegal drugs as a prominent example.

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  • The Dutch example shows that liberal drug laws can be beneficial

    Craig Reinarman
    Scott Barbour (Ed.), Drug Legalization: Current Controversies. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. pp. 102-108.

    U.S. drug control officials have denounced Dutch drug policy as if it were the devil himself. One former U.S. Drug Czar said "you can't walk down the street in Amsterdam without tripping over junkies." In the Summer of 1998, however, one such denouncement turned into a small scandal. The first part of this chapter examines this incident as a window on the politics of drug policy. The second part offers a more general analysis of why U.S. drug control officials seem to be so threatened by the Dutch example.

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