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


Jeff Sessions’s Reefer Madness

By Trevor Burrus. June 16, 2017.

The Cost of Wisconsin’s Opioid Crisis

By Ike Brannon and Devorah Goldman. WPRI Special Report. May 8, 2017.

Mexico’s Drug Violence Spikes Again

By Ted Galen Carpenter. National Interest (Online). May 3, 2017.

Cato Studies

With a Little Help from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths

By Daniel I. Rees, Joseph J. Sabia, Laura Argys, Joshua Latshaw, & Dhaval Dave. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 78. June 14, 2017.

Four Decades and Counting: The Continued Failure of the War on Drugs

By Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall. Policy Analysis No. 811. April 12, 2017.

Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations

By Angela Dills, Sietse Goffard, and Jeffrey Miron. Policy Analysis No. 799. September 16, 2016.


A Deadly Grip: Wisconsin’s Opioid Scourge: Its Origins and Possible Solutions

Ike Brannon and Devorah Goldman. Wisconsin Interest. Spring 2017.

From Fighting the Drug War to Protecting the Right to Use Drugs: Recognizing a Forgotten Liberty

Doug Bandow. Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom. 2013.

How the War on Drugs Is Destroying Black America

Cato's Letter. John McWhorter. Vol. 9. No. 1. Winter 2011.

Public Filings

Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming

By Robert Mikos. Legal Briefs. August 20, 2013.

Florida v. Adkins

By Tim Lynch and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. November 28, 2011.

Florida Dept. of Corrections v. Shelton

By Tim Lynch and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. November 2, 2011.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The International War on Drugs

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

The War on Drugs

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

Would the TPP Advance Free Trade? A Scorecard

Policy Report. November/December 2016.


What Should Be Done about the Heroin Problem?

Featuring Jeffrey Miron and Tim Lynch. April 29, 2016. Debate.

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel

Featuring Juan Carlos Hidalgo. March 2, 2016. Book Forum.

Designer Drugs: A New Futile Front in the War on Illegal Drugs?

Featuring Ted Galen Carpenter and Christopher A. Preble. July 20, 2015. Policy Forum.