Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Prohibition vs. Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?

by

Abstract

Economists have been newsworthy critics of the policy of drug prohibition. This paper seeks to determine if these instances of criticism represent a consensus of professional opinion. A random survey of professional economists suggests that the majority supports reform of drug policy in the direction of decriminalization. A survey of professional economists who have published on the subject of drug prohibition and expressed a policy judgment indicates an even greater consensus which is critical of prohibition and supportive of policy reforms in the direction of decriminalization, and to a lesser extent, legalization.