Nobel Prize-Winning Economists Want the War on Drugs to End

May 08, 2014

Danny Quah, Economists, five, marijuana, Noble, Prize, Prize-winning, report, war on drugs

In a recently released report titled “Ending the Drug Wars,” five previous winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics have endorsed the London School of Economics' IDEAS center’s findings. The report looked at “the high costs and unintended consequences of drug prohibitions on public health and safety, national security and law enforcement,” according to the Huffington Post.

"The pursuit of a militarized and enforcement-led global ‘war on drugs’ strategy has produced enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage," says the 82-page report. "These include mass incarceration in the US, highly repressive policies in Asia, vast corruption and political destabilization in Afghanistan and West Africa, immense violence in Latin America…and the propagation of systematic human rights abuses around the world."

In short, the report implores world leaders to rework their drug policies to center on treatment and harm reduction rather than prosecution and prison sentencing.

Later on in the report, it calls on the United Nations General Assembly to look beyond its one-size-fits-all approach to drug policy during its special session coming in 2016.

"The UN must recognize its role is to assist states as they pursue best-practice policies based on scientific evidence, not undermine or counteract them," said Danny Quah, a contributor to the report. "If this alignment occurs, a new and effective international regime can emerge that effectively tackles the global drug problem."

Nobel Prize Winners in Economics:
Kenneth Arrow (1972)
Sir Christopher Pissarides (2010)
Thomas Schelling (2005)
Vernon Smith (2002)
Oliver Williamson (2009)