Lawmakers at all levels of government have shown increasing contempt for personal responsibility and an increasing tendency to employ the power of the state to influence behavior. Government today pressures us to avoid risks, even risks that many of us knowingly and willingly take. What we eat, drink, or otherwise put into our bodies; what we do with our bodies; the people we choose to sleep with and how we choose to sleep with them; and what health, financial, or safety risks we elect to take simply are not legitimate concerns of the state. Individual Americans will make better decisions about risk and lifestyle when they and they alone bear the consequences of those decisions.

More on State and Local Regulations


Arizona’s Misguided War on Opioids

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Reason. November 7, 2016.

We Might Soon Have 9 States Where Pot Is Simultaneously Legal and Illegal. That’s a Problem.

By Trevor Burrus. November 2, 2016.

What We Know Today about Marijuana Proves Prohibition Is Wrong

By Jeffrey A. Singer. October 30, 2016.

Cato Studies

The New Feudalism: Why States Must Repeal Growth-Management Laws

By Randal O’Toole. Policy Analysis No. 802. October 18, 2016.

Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations

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

Low-Hanging Fruit Guarded by Dragons: Reforming Regressive Regulation to Boost U.S. Economic Growth

By Brink Lindsey. White Paper. June 22, 2015.

Public Filings

Packingham v. North Carolina

By Mark C. Fleming, Jason D. Hirsch, Esha Bandhari, Ilya Shapiro, & Devin Watkins. Legal Briefs. December 22, 2016.

Gaddy v. Georgia Department of Revenue

By Ilya Shapiro, David McDonald, Jason Bedrick, & Neal McCluskey. Legal Briefs. November 3, 2016.

United States v. Clay

By William N. Sheppard, Shana-Tara O’Toole, Jonathan S. Jeffress, Adam Zurbriggen, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. September 12, 2016.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Freedom in the 50 States

Policy Report. November/December 2016.

Barber Licensure and the Supply of Barber Shops: Evidence from U.S. States

Joshua Hall and Shree B. Pokharel. Cato Journal. Fall 2016.

Can ‘Planning’ Deregulate Land Use?

Roderick M. Hills Jr. and David Schleicher. Regulation. Fall 2015.


Freedom in the 50 States

Featuring . August 15, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation

Featuring Mark A. Calabria. October 15, 2015. Book Forum.

How Should Ridesharing Be Regulated?

Featuring Matthew Feeney and Brink Lindsey. February 10, 2015. Policy Forum.