Identification of a problem does not mean that the government should undertake to solve it, and the fact that a problem occurs in more than one state does not mean that it is a proper subject for federal policy.

Perhaps no area more clearly demonstrates the bad consequences of not following such rules than does drug prohibition. The long federal experiment in prohibition of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs has given us crime and corruption combined with a manifest failure to stop the use of drugs or reduce their availability to children.

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More on Drug War

Cato Studies

Scarcity without Leviathan: The Violent Effects of Cocaine Supply Shortages in the Mexican Drug War

By Juan Camilo Castillo, Daniel Mejía, and Pascual Restrepo. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 163. May 15, 2019.

The Impact of Cannabis Access Laws on Opioid Prescribing

By Benjamin McMichael, R. Lawrence Van Horn, and W. Kip Viscusi. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 156. March 27, 2019.

Overdosing on Regulation: How Government Caused the Opioid Epidemic

By Jeffrey Miron, Greg Sollenberger, and Laura Nicolae. Policy Analysis No. 864. February 14, 2019.

Public Filings

Why Arizona Should Decriminalize Needle Exchange Programs

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Testimony. February 20, 2019.

Public Comment to the Maryland House Health Committee Related to SB 1035 Cross-filed with HB 1039

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Public Comments. February 4, 2019.

Unintended Consequences: Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic

By David A. Hyman. Testimony. January 17, 2018.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The War on Drug-Related Deaths

Policy Report. May/June 2019.

The Myth of an Opioid Prescription Crisis

Policy Report. September/October 2017.

75. The International War on Drugs

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).


Harm Reduction: Shifting from a War on Drugs to a War on Drug-Related Deaths

Featuring Trevor Burrus, Clark Neily, Jeffrey A. Singer, Jeffrey Miron, Michael F. Cannon, Darwin Fisher, Edward G. Rendell, Maia Szalavitz, Donald S. Burke, Daniel Ciccarone, & Beau Kilmer. March 21, 2019. Conference.

#CatoDigital—The War on Drugs Is Decimating Digital Privacy

Featuring Lyn Ulbricht, Trevor Burrus, and Kat Murti. September 6, 2018. Cato Digital.

Marijuana: An Unbanked Industry

Featuring Matt Wood, Julie A. Hill, John Hudak, Jeffrey Miron, & George Selgin. May 10, 2018. Film Screening.


Opening Remarks Beyond Prohibition Conference

By Edward H. Crane. October 5, 1999.