Five Nobel-prize winning economists have signed onto an academic report published Tuesday in the London School of Economics calling for an end to the “war on drugs,” calling it a “global failure.”
The report, titled “Ending the Drug Wars,” points to a failure to stem the flow of drugs around the world in addition to other negative effects, including violence in Afghanistan and Latin America, the explosion of drug-related incarceration in the United States, and an HIV epidemic in Russia, Al Jazeera reports.
Far from winning the fight, the report says the United Nations’ “one-size-fits-all approach” has instead created a $US300 billion black market.
“It is time to end the ‘war on drugs’ and massively redirect resources towards effective evidence-based policies underpinned by rigorous economic analysis,” the authors write in the forward of the report. “The pursuit of a militarized and enforcement-led global ‘war on drugs’ strategy has produced enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage.”
Signatories include Nobel-prize winners Kenneth Arrow (1972), Christopher Pissarides (2010), Thomas Schelling (2005) Vernon Smith (2002) and Oliver Williamson (2009), as well as George Shultz, former Secretary of State under President Reagan, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and former NATO and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
Among recommendations offered to the U.S. specifically, Ernest Drucker writes that mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders should be ended and blanket amnesty should be offered for drug offenders already behind bars.
“The rapid rise in incarceration in the U.S. and several other countries … ” Drucker writes, has “impacted those imprisoned but also their families and communities.”
While it does call for an end to the “war,” the report does not call for legalization of all drugs — instead the authors ask for “rigorously monitored” experiments with legalization with a focus on public health and a minimization of the illegal drug trade as keys to solving the problem.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.