The Economics of a Supply-Side War
Both the possession and distribution of illegal narcotics are criminally punishable. However, the penalties for distribution, whether street-level dealing or international smuggling, have always been much harsher than the punishments for possession. Possession—at least for marijuana—is becoming decriminalized in some states. Meanwhile, enforcement devoted to interdiction of imports and the breaking up of dealer networks continues. In short, while there are demand-side penalties, the U.S. government's war on drugs is primarily a supply-side war.