The Doom and Gloom Predicted by Drug Prohibitionists Fails to Materialize

Every time it appears as though firearm restrictions may be loosened gun control advocates predict blood in the streets. Even though firearm restrictions have been loosened significantly in recent times the gun control advocates’ predictions have remained unrealized. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Violent crime has been going down.

A similar thing is happening with drug restrictions. Every time it appears as though drug restrictions may be loosened drug prohibitionists predict massive spikes in drug usage amongst teens. Drug restrictions have been loosening in recent years but drug usage amongst teens is going down:

Teen drug and alcohol use has fallen to levels not seen since the height of the drug war in the 1990s, according to new federal survey data.

The Monitoring the Future survey of about 50,000 high school students found that “considerably fewer teens reported using any illicit drug other than marijuana in the prior 12 months — 5 percent, 10 percent and 14 percent in grades 8, 10 and 12, respectively — than at any time since 1991.”

Teen alcohol and cigarette use are at historic lows, too. Among all students surveyed in 2016, just over 36 percent had drank alcohol in the previous year. That’s down by nearly half from the high in 1991, when 67 percent of high school students had consumed alcohol.

What’s the cause of this reduction? I could only offer guesses. But I can say for certain that drug prohibitions do not reduce drug usage amongst teens. If anything, the opposite may be true (or there may be no relation between drug usage amongst teens and the legal status of those drugs). Either way, we should stop taking the doom and gloom predictions by drug prohibitionists seriously.