The Economist this week runs one of its cover-story drug policy and law reform special issues. This latest installment, that follows previous efforts in 1993 and 2001 features the cover below , four detailed briefings and leader column. The Economist has a readership of 1.2 million (half of them in the US) is highly influential and widely read by a demographic with a serious interest in economics - from all political persuasions, despite its generally right leaning economic perspective.
This weeks' publication features four detailed briefings on attempts to deal with drugs:
- On the Trail of the Traffickers looks at the violent drug war carnage enveloping Mexico
- Sniffy Customers considers the how the cocaine is thriving despite enforcement efforts
- Levels of prohibition: A tokers guide looks at how countries across the world are challenging the letter and spirit of the outdated UN conventions
- Drug education: in America lesson learned considers the historic failure of drug education in the US
"Next week ministers from around the world gather in Vienna to set international drug policy for the next decade. Like first-world-war generals, many will claim that all that is needed is more of the same. In fact the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless. That is why The Economist continues to believe that the least bad policy is to legalise drugs."