Friday, 3 June 2005

Milton Friedman endorses landmark marijuana report

The influential Forbes magazine has the news today that "A founding father of the Reagan Revolution has put his John Hancock on a pro-pot report. "

Says Forbes, "Milton Friedman leads a list of more than 500 economists from around the U.S. who today will publicly endorse a Harvard University economist's report on the costs of marijuana prohibition.... Ending prohibition enforcement [in the US] would save $7.7 billion in combined state and federal spending, the report says..."

The report can be found here, and a Forbes magazine special on 'the new cash crop' here.

Friedman's support legalisation is not just about simple economics. "
"I've long been in favor of legalizing all drugs," he says, but not because of the standard libertarian arguments for unrestricted personal freedom. "Look at the factual consequences: The harm done and the corruption created by these laws...the costs are one of the lesser evils."

"There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana," the economist says, "$7.7 billion is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven't even included the harm to young people. It's absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes."

I look forward to intelligent discussion and dissemination of the report here in New Zealand, where the costs and effects of prohibition and the dangers of the therapeutic state are sadly still too little recognised, despite the best efforts of NORML and Christchurch's Mild Greens.

[Hat tip Keith Halderman.]


  1. ...and in a similar vein...TIME magazine June 6, 2005 reports:

    $800,000 estimated taxes collected from prostitution in Antwerp since the practice was legalized in 2001....40% decrease in crime related to prostitution- including drugs, rape and murder- since 2001

  2. you'd think that there won't be any crime related to it, afterall, its legal.

    I'm just worried when its all about individual and money, forget about society (the very group we created to survice)

  3. I've long been an opponent of the "war" on drugs, and I am now well over sixteen years clean and sober. It is a costly and stupid war that has wreaked unnecesary havoc on us all.

  4. this report is fantastic, the infomation you show us is really interesting and is good written. Do you want to see something more? Look: this is a good page, you can visit too:marijuana science magazineis the illicit drug of more frequent abuse in the United States.The marijuana science magazineis a greenish gray mixture of flowers,stems,dry and pricked seeds and leaves of the hemp plant,sativa Cannabis,that are smoked generally in cigarette form,“joints” or “nail”,or in pipe “Bong”.In addition,the marijuana science magazineis smoked in form of “blunts”, which they are pure or cigarettes to which it removes to them the tobacco and fill up with marijuana,often mixed with another drug.marijuana science magazine
    Head Shop, Herbal Grinders
    Bongs, Glass Pipe. Visit us for more info at:


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.