New Solutions for Drug Policy

Like alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s, which was intended to banish certain substances from society, drug prohibition has not only failed its mission but has made its mission impossible.

The failures of prohibition are painfully obvious: wasted money, wasted lives and wasted opportunities. Determining what works best is less straightforward, but we have examples from all over the world and even our own states of policies that show progress and represent opportunities to improve.

Setting a new goal for drug policy is a start: the aim should be to reduce harm related to drugs – as well as harm caused by drug policies. Some U.S. states and some countries are trying new approaches that move in this direction. Rather than setting a single model for success, we can look at these different policies for ideas as we work toward reform.