Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1982347
 


 



Assessing Drug Prohibition and its Alternatives: A Guide for Agnostics


Robert MacCoun


University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program; University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Peter H. Reuter


University of Maryland

December 2011

Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 7, pp. 61-78, 2011

Abstract:     
For decades, the debate over the merits of ending drug prohibition has carried on with little consequence. The recent near success of a cannabis legalization initiative in California suggests that citizens and politicians alike are more receptive to calls for change. We review basic research on deterrence and prices as well as emerging evidence on the potential empirical consequences of various alternatives to full prohibition, including depenalization, tolerated home cultivation, prescription regimes for cannabis and heroin, and retail sales of cannabis in Dutch coffee shops. The results are encouraging for advocates of these specific reforms, but the cases are inadequate for addressing the potentially more dramatic effects of full-scale commercial markets. The fundamental dilemma is that full legalization will probably reduce average harm per use but increase total consumption; the net effect of these two changes is difficult to project.

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: January 10, 2012  

Suggested Citation

MacCoun, Robert and Reuter, Peter H., Assessing Drug Prohibition and its Alternatives: A Guide for Agnostics (December 2011). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 7, pp. 61-78, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1982347 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102510-105442

Contact Information

Robert MacCoun (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )
215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
510-642-7518 (Phone)
University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program ( email )
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )
2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States
510-642-7518 (Phone)
510-643-9657 (Fax)
Peter H. Reuter
University of Maryland ( email )
College Park, MD 20742
United States
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