10 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2016 Last revised: 3 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 3, 2017
Public policy towards some potentially addictive drugs such as cocaine and opium is highly coercive and punitive, even though the direct harms associated with these drugs generally fall upon the users themselves. Behavioral research has identified non-coercive methods to guide decision making, including the judicious selection of default settings. This brief paper suggests replacing drug prohibition with a regulated system that involves two levels of defaults for adult drug consumers. The defaults are designed to guide people towards abstinence, or, for the non-abstinent, into moderate drug consumption.
Keywords: drugs, cocaine, prohibition, defaults, licenses, waiting periods
JEL Classification: I18, K49, L50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation