• Jeffrey A. Miron


August 9, 2023, Paper: "Prohibiting or heavily regulating alcohol, tobacco, and drugs leads to underground markets. We argue that most of the negative effects of illicit drugs stem from their prohibition. Legalizing these substances may increase use but also improve a range of public health outcomes including reduced violence and corruption, improved product quality, and fewer opportunities for disparate harm to minority communities. High regulatory burdens and tax rates also lead to illicit markets in alcohol and tobacco. Deregulating and lowering (or removing) taxes on alcohol and tobacco similarly would shift consumption and production into legal markets, avoiding the harms associated with underground markets. Entrepreneurs in these markets currently devote their efforts to avoiding enforcement and the regulatory regime. A shift to free markets in alcohol, tobacco, and drugs would allow innovators to focus on the types of products consumers prefer, improving drug safety and quality."