George Shultz Sceptical of War on Drugs

George Shultz has a distinguished résumé. He was Dean of the University of Chicago business school, Secretary of the Treasury under President Nixon, and Secretary of State under President Reagan. Along with the late Milton Friedman, he is sceptical about the War on Drugs, and is willing to express his scepticism:

(p. A17) He has long harbored skepticism about interdiction as a solution to drug abuse in the U.S. Those doubts were prescient.
. . .
Mr. Shultz recalls what happened shortly after he left government, when his view that interdiction is not the solution came up after a speech to a Stanford alumni group.
Then, as now, he believed that we need to look at the problem from an economic perspective and understand what happens when there is high demand for a prohibited substance. When his comment hit the press, he says he “was inundated with letters. Ninety-eight percent of them agreed with me and over half of those people said I’m glad you said it, but I wouldn’t dare say it. The most poignant comment was from [a former member of the House of Representatives] who wrote and said I was glad to see your statement. I said that a few years ago and that’s why I’m no longer a congressman!”

For the full commentary, see:
MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY. “George Shultz on the Drug War; The former secretary of state has long doubted the wisdom of interdiction.” The Wall Street Journal (Mon., OCTOBER 12, 2009): A17.
(Note: the online version of the article is dated Oct. 11, 2009.)
(Note: ellipsis added.)

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