What’s the Opposite of a Drug-Free Society?

With the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration celebrating its 35th birthday this week, the publication of a new study estimating drug use rates across countries is well-timed. Of the 17 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization, China has the lowest rate of illegal drug use (cannabis and cocaine combined), followed by Japan, while the United States has the highest rate, followed closely by New Zealand. (Here is a comparison table.) “Globally,” the researchers report, “drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones.” It may be that the United States has especially stringent drug policies partly because it has especially high levels of drug use. But it seems clear, after you look at drug use not only across countries but over time in the U.S., that the ebbs and flows have little to do with the intensity of drug law enforcement (which is not to say that prohibition itself has no impact).


About Marshall Keith

Broadcast Engineer Scuba Diver Photographer Fisherman Hunter Libertarian
This entry was posted in Libertarian, War on Drugs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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