Critics of Drug Prohibition

Libertarians have always been foremost among opponents of drug prohibition. Psychologist Thomas Szasz, economist Milton Friedman and Reason magazine have all given eloquent arguments in favor of drug freedom.

Libertarians aren't the only ones calling for reform. Many prominent figures have signed the Hoover Institution's Hoover Resolution calling for a national commission to study drug war alternatives. Among the many people criticizing drug prohibition are the President of Bolivia, the President of the American Bar Association, the President of the American Judges Association, and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

When in 1993 then-Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders declared drug legalization should be studied, Republicans and Democrats alike denounced her. The Libertarian Party issued a news release supporting her call.

Support for medical use of marijuana has increased dramatically. In 1994, localities cities passed resolutions supporting medical marijuana, including Breckenridge, Colorado, Frisco, Colorado, and Alameda County, California. In 1996, the states of California and Arizona passed initiatives legalizing medical marijuana. In 1997, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine endorsed medical marijuana.