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British Study Says Drug Legalization Could Save $20 Billion Per Year
Britain's Transform Drug Policy Foundation released a report, entitled A Comparison of the Cost-effectiveness of Prohibition and Regulation, on April 7, 2009 that posited savings of up to $20 billion annually under a legal, regulated drug control system. As the April 10 edition of the Drug War Chronicle explains ("Britain Could Save $20 Billion a Year by Legalizing Drugs, Study Finds"), "Transform postulated four different legalization scenarios based on drug use levels declining by half, staying the same, increasing by half, and doubling. Even under the worst case scenario, with drug use doubling under legalization, Britain could still see annual savings of $6.7 billion. Under the best case scenario, the savings would approach $20 billion annually." As the study states, "The conclusion is that regulating the drugs market is a dramatically more cost-effective policy than prohibition and that moving from prohibition to a regulated drugs market in England and Wales would provide a new saving to taxpayers, victims of crime, communities, the criminal justice system, and drug users."
Transform hosts the study online in PDF form.