According to a new WHO report, the three leading health risks in developed and middle-income countries are alcohol, blood pressure, and tobacco. (In the developing world it’s lack of food, unsafe sex, and unsafe water.)

Note to drug warriors: none of the drugs you’re fighting so hard made the list, and two drugs you never say “boo” about did. How about raising beer taxes?

Note to drug policy “reformers””: the two drugs we decided to legalize, regulate, and tax made the list, and none of the drugs we prohibit did. Does that tell you anything anything about the likely consequences of legalizing cocaine?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com