Reward the Pushers, Execute the Users: An Immodest, Market-Based Proposal to Eliminate the Drug Problem

National Law Journal, Vol. 9, No. 32 (April 20, 1987), pp. 13, 16


The current debate between Congress and the Reagan administration regarding the proper level of funding for drug-enforcement programs misses the point. The appropriate question is not how much money to spend (since funding increases over the years have not made a dent in the drug problem), but how to spend the money.

The solution should be obvious to any careful student of neoclassical economics, which has provided the intellectual underpinning for most domestic policy initiatives in recent years: Increase supply and undercut demand for drugs in order to reduce the price and profitability of drug distribution. Such a market-based policy will put the drug merchants out of business, and redirect Latin American and Asian farmers to other cash crops.