Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Open Thread

  • Jeffrey Miron and Katherine Waldock have a new white paper, "The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition." They estimate the savings for the United States in enforcement costs would amount to $41.3 billion per year. The tax revenues from legalization would generate $46.7 billion annually.

  • The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that three of Canada's prostitution laws are unconstitutional. It seems the courts increasingly appreciate the dangers created by prohibition.

  • Wally Oppal has been appointed to head a public inquiry in British Columbia. Oppal will examine the Robert Pickton investigation. This case involved a serial killer who targeted women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada). Many of these women were prostitutes and drug users. It will be interesting to see if the public inquiry will consider prohibition as a factor here.

  • This article from The Guardian explains how social networks are telling the real story about Mexico's drug war. (LEAP speaker Walter McKay lives in Mexico and he has a great blog about what is happening in Mexico.)

  • Australia has formally approved a "heroin injecting room." The site has been around since 2001 on a trial basis. It has gone through eleven evaluations from five different organizations (the most recent evaluation was actually done by KPMG).
Update: This Globe and Mail article is the most comprehensive article I've been able to find so far regarding the prostitution decision out of Ontario.


  1. Let's see: $41.3 saved + $46.7 raised is like $88 billion a year... we could bail out the financial services industry every 10 years. Cool.

  2. The Ontario Superior Court ruling is a great outcome, and will go a long way towards mitigating the harm caused by this particular form of prohibition.

    Unfortunately, the failure of Canadian MPs to end the Firearms Registry in a recent vote means that Canadians will continue to suffer from THAT particular form of prohibition for some time to come.


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