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Prohibition vs. Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?

Mark Thornton ()

Econ Journal Watch, 2004, vol. 1, issue 1, 82-105

Abstract: Economists have been newsworthy critics of the policy of drug prohibition. This paper seeks to determine if these instances of criticism represent a consensus of professional opinion. A random survey of professional economists suggests that the majority supports reform of drug policy in the direction of decriminalization. A survey of professional economists who have published on the subject of drug prohibition and expressed a policy judgment indicates an even greater consensus which is critical of prohibition and supportive of policy reforms in the direction of decriminalization, and to a lesser extent, legalization.

Keywords: prohibition; crime; addiction; public policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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