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Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition Paperback – March 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"A powerful economic analysis…advances the only practical alternative to the present failed policies." -- Joseph D. MacNamara, former Chief of Police of San Jose, California

"Jeffrey Miron strengthens and enriches the case with his analyses of data from the prohibition era and from other countries" -- Steven B. Duke, professor of law, Yale University

"Legislators and other policy-makers would benefit from his non-politicized, non-moralistic approach; everyone can benefit from reading this important, insightful work." -- Margaret M. Russell, vice president, ACLU

"[T]he standard for judging all else in the field . . . has been needed for a very long time." -- John L. Kane, Jr., senior judge, U.S. District Court

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Miron is a professor of economics at Boston University. He is the author of The Economics of Seasonal Cycles and Casebook for Use with Macroeconomics. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and London Guardian. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Institute (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945999909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945999904
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Breheny on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
The interesting thing about economics is the lack of emphasis on intention. Economists don't care what the intent of the policy is, only the outcome. The result of this all-consuming focus is that economic analyses have a fascinating way of seeing past wishful thinking. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Jeffrey Miron's analysis of narcotics prohibition, Drug War Crimes: the Consequences of Prohibition. Nearly everyone agrees that the United States has a drug problem, and our government arrests 1.5 million people a year fighting it. Is prohibition making the problem worse?

Miron certainly thinks so. Although the book is nominally objective, Miron's personal opinions on the issue are clear. This is not necessarily a criticism - to paraphrase Howard Zinn's argument in A People's History of the United States, the large body of evidence that has been built up in support of drug prohibition compels a one-sided account in order to balance the scales.

The argument goes like this: abridging the rights of citizens to use drugs is morally questionable in the first place; even if you decide that eliminating drug use is a noble aim of the government, the negative consequences of prohibition outweigh its positives; even if they didn't, outright prohibition is the worst way to go about achieving this goal. So why do we spend $33 billion a year on it?

Many negative effects of drug use are self-evident, such as increased corruption, the spread of infectious disease through the sharing of needles, and the transfer of wealth to criminals. Two questions, however, warrant extended analysis: To what extent does prohibition lower consumption? And what is the effect of prohibition on violence?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Any objective observer can see that the United States' war on drugs is an epic failure. On the positive side, various states are taking the initiative in legalizing medical marijuana. On the other hand, the federal government still hasn't learned its lesson for decades. Short (107 pages), succinct, and backed by hard data, Miron's book presents a highly detailed critique of the U.S. government's war on drugs and the vast harm it has wrought. In addition, he makes the case for the only right alternative: full legalization of all drugs. Even if one doesn't agree with this conclusion, skeptics should read this book and understand that the approach and consequences of the status quo are unacceptable.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce W. Cain on March 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Drug War Crimes" is spot on. And we, the American People, would be best served by Re-Legalizing Marijuana Right Now!

The MERP Model for Re-Legalization will destroy the Mexican Drug Cartels and much, much more. Please visit and post the following link far and wide. This subweb is both for understanding MERP and implementing MERP. We need everyones help on this. Get on the mailing list now! Let's Re-Legalize Marijuana in 2009 World Wide.

MERP Headquarters
The Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy Project (MRPP)
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