Nothing Raises Drug Prices Like Prohibition

Prior to any state legalizing marijuana, economist Jeff Miron estimated that it would cause pot prices to fall by 50%. Legalized pot blew through that estimate in less than 24 months and is still dropping fast.

Illegal drug prices have generally fallen over time as industries become more efficient, and this fact has often been used to assert that prohibition doesn’t raise drug prices. That argument has been destroyed by the real time experiment of legalizing marijuana, as I explain in Washington Post Wonkblog.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.