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Guest Thinkers

True Costs of the War on Drugs

Whatever one’s views on the initial case for making drugs illegal, the cost has been tremendous, and in many aspects unanticipated, says Nobel Laureate Gary Becker.

Perhaps the worse results of the American war on drugs are found in its effects on other countries, especially Mexico, Colombia, and other Latin American countries. Mexico is also engaged in a war on drugs, but it is a war almost entirely fought against drugs shipped from Mexico into the United States. The overwhelming majority of drugs that are either produced in Mexico, or that enter Mexico from other countries, are destined for shipment across the border to the United States. The two main drugs shipped from Mexico are marijuana and cocaine, the same two drugs that constitute the vast majority of drugs used by American consumers.


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