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


Arizona May Have Gotten More Aggressive on Opioids, but It’s Still Not Working

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Arizona Republic. December 24, 2018.

How Drug Prohibition Created the Fentanyl Crisis

By Trevor Burrus. Richmond Times-Dispatch. December 22, 2018.

The Drug Prohibition Is to Blame for Opioid Crisis

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Daily Caller. December 4, 2018.

Cato Studies

How Legalizing Marijuana Is Securing the Border: The Border Wall, Drug Smuggling, and Lessons for Immigration Policy

By David Bier. Policy Analysis No. 860. December 19, 2018.

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

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Policy Analysis No. 858. December 13, 2018.

The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side: How Extensive Is the Interstate Trafficking of Recreational Marijuana?

By Benjamin Hansen, Keaton Miller, and Caroline Weber. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 134. October 10, 2018.


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.

Reducing the Drug’s War Damage to Government Budgets

Trevor Burrus and David B. Kopel. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Vol. 35. No. 2. Spring 2012.

Public Filings

Unintended Consequences: Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic

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

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.

Cato Reviews & Journals

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).

23. The War on Drugs

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


#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.

#CatoConnects: The Retrograde Federal War on Pot

Featuring Trevor Burrus and Caleb O. Brown. January 19, 2018. Cato Connects.


Opening Remarks Beyond Prohibition Conference

By Edward H. Crane. October 5, 1999.