The Economics of the Legalization of Drugs Term Paper

The Economics of the Legalization of Drugs
A look at the global economic impact of the legalization of drugs at the microeconomic level of the consumers, distributors and producers of drugs.
# 6333 | 1,950 words | 1 source | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on Feb 09, 2003 in Economics (Micro) , Economics (Public Finance) , Criminology (Drugs Enforcement)

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This paper analyzes a survey that appeared in "The Economist," which examined the economic and social impact of the legalization of drugs around the world. It focuses on the microeconomic effects legalization would have and analyzes data presented in the survey using tools and methods that are taught at intermediate level economics classes. This paper examines the effects of legalization on price, demand, consumption and distribution.

From the Paper:

"Regardless of the moral or political positions one takes on the use or trade of illicit substances, one has to appreciate the complexity and the organization of the world drug trade. The drug trade is a truly global industry, as the production and distribution of illegal substances requires participation from, and relatively unmatched cooperation between, different groups from nearly every corner of the world. As impressive as the geographic scope of the drug trade is the economic prowess of the industry, which generates annual sales of somewhere between $150 and $400 billion, based on different estimates. The industry's illegitimate status also makes it one of the most dangerous in the world for those who participate at all levels, from producers to distributors, and even to consumers. The drug trade also causes enormous problems, both financially and socially, to nearly every nation involved - and not just from the questionable nature of the drugs themselves, but also because of the tactics employed by the world's most powerful governments, especially by the United States, to eliminate, curb, or otherwise control the flow of illegal substances. In the survey in The Economist, powerful arguments are presented that try to establish that the policies and enforcement strategies of the world's powers against the drug trade cause far greater harm than the industry does itself. Further, the survey argues a great deal of the problems caused by the drug industry to nations and peoples around the world are more a result of these policies and tactics than anything inherent in the industry or the substances themselves. The survey presents a number of arguments from both a social standpoint and an economic perspective as to how the United States and the rest of the world might benefit from the legalization of illicit substances. In this paper the focus will be on the economic evidence presented in the survey and its correlation with the theory of the firm and the consumer in microeconomics."

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APA Format

The Economics of the Legalization of Drugs (2003, February 09) Retrieved September 18, 2019, from

MLA Format

"The Economics of the Legalization of Drugs" 09 February 2003. Web. 18 September. 2019. <>