In our usually dormant comments section, Dr. T has questioned whether economists really overwhelmingly favor drug legalization, a claim made in a recent NPR segment. To address this concern, I consulted the Econ Journal Watchand its on-point article from Mark Thorton “Prohibition vs. Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?”
From the abstract:
A random survey of professional economists suggests that the majority supports reform of drug policy in the direction of decriminalization. A survey of professional economists who have published on the subject of drug prohibition and expressed a policy judgment indicates an even greater consensus which is critical of prohibition and supportive of policy reforms in the direction of decriminalization, and to a lesser extent, legalization.
Thorton concludes that there is in fact no consensus, and after taking a look at his summary statistics, I’d have to agree. That said, it does appear that there is solid support for some form of liberalization.