The Extended Freemarket Solution

The free-market solution as applied to one drug or all drugs would not achieve ideal results. Short-term adjustments to free-mar ket conditions involve substantial costs. Discovering techniques to avoid and cure addiction and to develop new institutions and safer products would all take time. In fact, achieving solutions to the use of addictive products may take generations, rather than months and years. Extending the free-market solution to areas other than the immediate market for drugs would...

The Freemarket Solution

Prohibition is effectively impossible in the economic sense. Alternative policies, such as government-sponsored maintenance pro ' See Rodney T. Smith 1976 on government's tendency to maximize net revenues and its impact on the alcohol industry. 10 For a history of the repeal movement, see Kyvig 1979. For an unsympathetic view on the repeal movement, see Dobyns 1940. For a history of the plethora of policies enacted after repeal, see Harrison and Laine 1936. 12 A great deal of this...

Alcohol Prohibition

An examination of the prohibition on alcohol during the 1920s provides useful and interesting evidence on shipping the hard liquor in. During Prohibition a variety of law-enforcement resources were mobilized through the Volstead Act in an attempt to curtail the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol. Enforcement created risks for alcohol suppliers, risks that had pervasive effects on how, when, where, and what kind of alcohol was consumed. Table 4 provides information concerning the...

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Source Johnson 1917, 321, and Warburton 1932, 24. Source Johnson 1917, 321, and Warburton 1932, 24. that is, it requires only a tenth as much bootleg liquor as of pre-prohibition liquor to produce a given degree of drunkenness. The reason, of course, is that bootleg liquor is so concentrated and almost invariably contains other and more deadly poisons than mere ethyl alcohol (1927, 28-29, emphasis added). Friedman and Friedman (1984) also note that producers of these new products often used...

Beyond Cannabis

The potency of many illegal drugs besides marijuana, such as cocaine, has also increased, and new, highly potent forms of cocaine, such as crack, have become available. Another feature of the modern prohibition of drugs is the substitution of one drug for another. While each drug has some unique characteristics, most illegal drugs also have some similar attributes. Changes in relative prices can therefore induce substitution of lower-priced for higher-priced illegal drugs. For example,...

The Potency of Illegal Drugs

Another factor contributing to increased health consequences of marijuana use is the increase in potency over the past several years. The White House Drug Abuse Policy Office, 1984 National Strategy for Prevention of Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking Drug prohibition establishes a wholly superfluous discovery process with respect to the potency of illegal drugs. Blackmarket entrepreneurs are spurred on by artificial, prohibition-created profit opportunities in a similar fashion to entrepreneurs...

Corruption

The control of corruption is of vital interest in any free and democratic society. An important goal of prohibition is the reduction of corruption. Timberlake (1963) claims that political corruption by the alcohol industry was the major reason for establishing Prohibition Like many other businesses, the liquor industry sought to influence or control all levels of government in order to promote its interests and to protect itself against unfavorable legislation. But unlike most businesses, it...

National Marijuana Prohibition

Prohibition seems incompatible with the historical, cultural, and economic significance of marijuana. As Ernest L. Abel notes, Cannabis is undoubtedly one of the world's most remarkable plants. Virtually every part of it has been used and valued at one time or another. Its roots have been boiled to make medicine its seeds have been eaten as food by both animals and men, been crushed to make industrial oils, and been thrown onto blazing fires to release the minute intoxicating cannabinoids...

The Economics Of Addiction

The history of economic thought is strewn with attacks on individual rationality.26 The consumer has been criticized for consuming on the basis of imperfect information, as well as not consuming because of imperfect information (that is, hoarding). The consumer has been criticized for steadfastly maintaining a consumption plan despite changing circumstances, problems, and severe difficulties (habits, addictions), as well as not maintaining established consumption plans due to changing...

In Defense Of Prohibition

An important American economist, Irving Fisher, was the champion of Prohibition within the profession. He organized a round-table discussion on the topic at the American Economic Association meetings in 1927. Here he claimed to have been unable to find even one economist to speak against Prohibition, despite a thorough search. I got a list of the economists who are supposed to be opposed to Prohibition, and wrote to them they all replied either that I was mistaken in thinking that they were...

The Prohibition Of Alcohol

The development of prohibitionism will be broken down into three periods. The birth of prohibition covers the period from colonial times to the Civil War. The politicalization and growth of prohibitionism occurs from the Civil War to about 1900. The adoption of national prohibitions occurs during the Progressive Era, roughly 1900-1920. The national prohibition of marijuana, which did not occur until 1937, is treated as a consequence of the adoption of alcohol and narcotics prohibition and the...