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Ending the drug wars: report of the LSE Expert Group on the economics of drug policy

Quah, Danny, Collins, John, Atuesta Becerra, Laura, Caulkins, Jonathan, Csete, Joanne, Drucker, Ernest, Felbab-Brown, Vanda, Kleiman, Mark A. R., Madrazo Lajous, Alejandro, Mejia, Daniel, Restrepo, Pascual, Peter, Reuter and Ziskind, Jeremy (2014) Ending the drug wars: report of the LSE Expert Group on the economics of drug policy. , Collins, John and Brunet, Luc-André (eds.). LSE IDEAS, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

It is time to end the ‘war on drugs’ and massively redirect resources towards effective evidence-based policies underpinned by rigorous economic analysis. The pursuit of a militarised and enforcement-led global ‘war on drugs’ strategy has produced enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage. These include mass incarceration in the US, highly repressive policies in Asia, vast corruption and political destabilisation in Afghanistan and West Africa, immense violence in Latin America, an HIV epidemic in Russia, an acute global shortage of pain medication and the propagation of systematic human rights abuses around the world. The strategy has failed based on its own terms. Evidence shows that drug prices have been declining while purity has been increasing. This has been despite drastic increases in global enforcement spending. Continuing to spend vast resources on punitive enforcement-led policies, generally at the expense of proven public health policies, can no longer be justified. The United Nations has for too long tried to enforce a repressive, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. It must now take the lead in advocating a new cooperative international framework based on the fundamental acceptance that different policies will work for different countries and regions. This new global drug strategy should be based on principles of public health, harm reduction, illicit market impact reduction, expanded access to essential medicines, minimisation of problematic consumption, rigorously monitored regulatory experimentation and an unwavering commitment to principles of human rights.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/pd...
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Date Deposited: 12 May 2014 10:58
Last Modified: 19 May 2019 23:09
Funders: Open Society Foundations
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/56706

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