Here are a couple of studies that you’re not likely to see discussed by some of the drug policy “academics.”
Would liberalization lead to epidemic cocaine consumption? – an economic study by Norman V. Loayza and Naotaka Sugawara.
The answer is “no.”
Abstract: This article uses cross-country data to estimate the potential effect of drastic reductions in the price of cocaine on the share of the population that consumes this drug. In order to identify movements along the cocaine consumption/demand function, this article instruments for cocaine prices with variables that affect the supply of cocaine. Liberalization of drug policies would produce an increase in the prevalence of cocaine consumption. However, the quantitative evidence presented here suggests that, even if substantial, this increase would not amount to epidemic cocaine use.
A “yes” for any state would have huge implications for the US, but the referendums would also have ramifications south of the border. A new study released by the think tank Mexican Competitiveness Institute (IMCO) shows that if the referendums do pass, proceeds for Mexican drug trafficking organizations could be cut by up to 30 percent, depending on which state goes forward with the referendum. (Read the report here in Spanish.)
“The possible legalization of marijuana at the state level in the US could provoke a considerable loss in proceeds of drug trafficking for Mexican criminal organizations,” the report concludes. In fact, it says, ballot initiatives Tuesday could represent the biggest blow to Mexican criminal syndicates in decades.