Legalization is… [a] viable drug policy
The market for illicit drugs represents [a massive] commodity business. With an estimated annual turnover of $426-652 billion, it is approximately one-third the size of the global oil market. By calling for legalization, we are not surrendering to the problem posed by drugs. Rather, we are advocating a more effective, lasting, and humane solution.
It is time for the world to change its approach. The use of psychoactive substances is a risky behavior, and managing such risks is a key function of government … As with all regulation, reforms should be implemented incrementally, and guided by evidence of what works and what does not. Different drugs will naturally require different levels of regulation depending on their relative risks, and approaches will vary from one country and locale to another. Fortunately, we know already how to manage risky behaviors and potentially dangerous products, not just from the legal cannabis markets emerging across the Americas, but also from the successes and failures of food safety, alcohol, and tobacco control. The lesson from those over-commercialized legal markets is that we need to place appropriate controls on marketing practices and curtail the incentives for commercial enterprises to encourage harmful consumption in pursuit of profits.