Thursday, November 19, 2009

Transform drug policy foundation, a UK think tank, recently released a report that details various models of regulation in a post-prohibition world. It's all too common for opponents of the war on drugs to criticize current drug policy without giving proper consideration to a more effective paradigm. The report, entitled "After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation," provides drug policy reformers with a variety of useful responses to the question, "What would the world be like after drug prohibition?"

Prohibition allows drugs to be supplied by criminals, who routinely use violence to secure maximum possible profits. Additionally, the buyer is deprived of the information and resources that would reduce the harms associated with drug use.

On the other end of the spectrum, the "hands-off" or laissez-faire approach, would end the black-market violence that prohibition inspires but would also prevent the implementation of important harm-reduction policies. Legalization and regulation is essentially a marriage between the absolutist positions of prohibition and laissez-faire.

The report discusses the options for regulating drugs and makes recommendations for each individual drug. The options range from pharmacies distributing drugs, to various licensing schemes, to coffee-shop style sales. For cannabis, the report recommends the licensing of coffee-shops to distribute and provide users a place for consumption. Additionally, the THC content would be clearly indicated on the packaging and prices would be set by the government. For cocaine, the report recommends that the drug be sold only to licensed users by a pharmacy-style business, possibly with the requirement of a prescription.

Even if you don't agree with the specific recommendations that the author makes, these post-prohibition ideas provide valuable fodder for thinking about a world without the war on drugs.

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Unit Trust said...
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