Saturday, 7 March 2009

The Economist and drugs: 20 years apart (updated x2)

The Economist magazine on drugs: legalise them.
The Economist (1989): Drug prohibition cruelly compounds the problems it was meant to solve. So end it. Legalise, control, discourage: those are the weapons for U.S. Drug Czar Bill Bennett's war.

The Economist (2009): Next week ministers from around the world gather in Vienna to set international drug policy for the next decade. Like first-world-war generals, many will claim that all that is needed is more of the same. In fact the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless. That is why The Economist continues to believe that the least bad policy is to legalise drugs.
(HT: Carpe Diem)

Update: TVHE comments here while Johan Norberg comments here. Norberg adds an argument against legalisation as well.
"I do not want to see anything done that would change the status of illegal drugs [...] It is a comforting thought to know that the opportunity exists for me to saddle up the ol´ airplane and roll the dice for a million-dollar-plus payday if I so choose. That´s the real American dream."

Hawkeye Gross, Drug Smuggling : The Forbidden Book, 1992.
Update 2: Annie Fox comments here.


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