Robert Marks' papers on drug policy


I have been writing on drug policy for forty years. The following papers and chapters cover the evolution in my thinking. Given the recent calls for reconsideration in Australia and the Americas, these might be of interest.

  1. Marks, R.E. (1974) "The Heroin Problem: Policy Alternatives in Dealing with Heroin Use," Journal of Drug Issues, 4(1): 69-91, (Winter). Here.
    Abstract: Examines the social and private aspects of heroin use in the US today and attempts to estimate the associated cost for society and the individual user. Possible goals of any relevant government policy are discussed, and 12 possible policy alternatives are examined, 8 of which deal with the demand for heroin and 4 with its supply. These alternatives are compared using a rough cost-benefit analysis for society as a whole. A more detailed comparison is made of therapeutic communities, methadone maintenance, and the British experience with prescription heroin maintenance.

  2. Marks, R.E. (1985) Discussion [at the conclusion of the Institute of Criminology seminar, Drugs and Crime, held on 26 June 1985, Sydney], Proceedings of the Institute of Criminology, 65: 64-66, 1985.

  3. Marks, R.E. (1989) Testimony before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority's inquiry on Drugs, Crime and Society, Official Hansard Report, pp. 1,076-1,133, Canberra (March 16).

  4. Marks, R.E. (1989) Heroin: the case for legalisation, Australian Medicine, 1(7): 164, June 5.
    Download a PDF version.

    • Kenneth Gee, Heroin: to be legal or not? Quadrant, 34(7): 38-39, July 1989. The retired judge and ex-Trotskyite attacks my proposals: "Adam Smith is alive and well in the drug scene."
      Download a PDF version.

  5. Marks, R.E. (1989) Economics of drug policies, presented at Drugs, the Law, and Medicine, a summit cosponsored by the Australian Doctors' Fund and the Australian Medical Association, Sydney (17-18 November). Download a PDF version.

  6. Marks, R.E. (1990) Prohibition or regulation: an economist's view of Australian heroin policy, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 23(2): 65-87, (June). Download a PDF version.

  7. Marks, R.E. (1990) A freer market for heroin in Australia: alternatives to subsidizing organized crime, Journal of Drug Issues, 20(1): 131-176, (Winter). Download a PDF version.

  8. Marks, R.E. (1990) Relaxing the prohibition: effects on supply and demand, in Controlled Availability: Wisdom or Disaster? ed. by J. Hando and J. Carless, (Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Monograph No. 10), pp. 11-16. Download a PDF version.

  9. Marks, R.E. (1991) The costs of drug law enforcement, presented at the PNG Foundation for Law, Order, and Justice's international conference on Drug-Related Crime in Papua New Guinea, Lae (May 13-17).
    Download a PDF version.

    • Ted Hilpert and Biliso Osake (n.d.), Yu Mas Save Gut Long Spak Brus Mariwana [You Should Know About Marijuana], Lae, PNG: Alcohol Education Office, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea, 13 pp, printed by Kristen Press Inc., Madang. (in Tok Pisin). Purchased in Lae in May 1991. With lurid pictures, Ted Hilpert scares his readers from using Spak Brus.
      Download a PDF version.

  10. Marks, R.E. (1991) The case for a regulated drugs market, Policy, 7(1): 28-33, (Autumn).
    Download a PDF version.

    • Hawks, D. (1991) The risks and costs of decriminalising drugs: a response to Robert Marks, Policy, 7(2): 25-27, (Winter). Hawks challenges my earlier assessment.
      Download a PDF version.

    • Marks, R.E. (1991) Rejoinder, Policy, 7(2): 27-28, (Winter). I outline harm minimisation.
      Download a PDF version.

  11. Marks, R.E. (1991) What price prohibition? An estimate of the costs of Australian drug policy, Australian Journal of Management, 16(2): 187-212, (December).
    Download a PDF version.

  12. Marks, R.E. (1992) Costs of illegal drug use, in The Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Use: Proceedings of the Fifth National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Annual Symposium, Melbourne, March, 1992, held as part of the Third International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm, ed. by W. Swift, (Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Monograph No. 15), pp. 18-31.
    Download a PDF version.

  13. Marks, R.E. (1992) The costs of Australian drug policy, Journal of Drug Issues, 22(3): 535-547, 1992.
    Download a PDF version.

  14. Marks, R.E. (1992) Costs of the prohibition, in Drugs Policy -- Fact, Fiction and the Future, ed. by Russell Fox and Ian R. Mathews (Sydney: The Federation Press), pp. 118-133.
    Download a PDF version.

  15. Marks, R.E. (1993) The law of supply and demand, Cannabis and Narcotics: Problems and Prospects for Decriminalisation, Proceedings of a Conference on Drug Law Reform under the ægis of The Law Society of New South Wales, October 23, 1993. (Sydney: The Law Society of N.S.W.).
    Download a PDF version.

    • "How to save 400 lives this year," Leader, The Independent Monthly, February 1994, p.7. Quotes my estimates of the cost of the prohibition.
      Download a PDF version.

  16. Marks, R.E. (1994) Cannabis laws: an analysis of costs, Drug and Alcohol Review, 13(3): 341-346.
    Download a PDF version.

    • "Illegal Drugs," Economics Monitor, (Access Economics, Canberra) pp. 14-18, October, 1997. Updates my 1992 estimates of the costs of the prohibition.
      Download a PDF version.

  17. Marks R.E. (1997) Deaths by drug policies: John Howard's more-of-the-same illicit drug policy will produce more drug deaths, Australian Financial Review, November 6, p.19.
    Download a PDF version.
  18. Marks R.E. (2002), Direct and derived policies: illicit drug use and greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 4(1): 51-74, March.
    Download a PDF version.

  19. Marks R.E. (2006), Milton Friedman, AGSM Magazine, Issue 02, 13 Dec. Reprinted in part in G. Hubbard, A. Garnett, P. Lewis & T. O'Brien: Essentials of Economics, Pearson Education Australia, 2009. (Until Fred Hilmer dissolved the AGSM, this was on-line, but all electronic access to the AGSM Magazine was lost with the demise of the Frank Lowy Library at the end of 2006.)
    Download a PDF version of the remaining extract.

  20. Collins D., Lapsley H.M., and Marks R.E., (2007) Illicit Drugs Damage Australian Business, Sydney: Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. Here.

  21. Marks R.E. (2012) Increasing Marginal Revenue and Demand Elasticity, UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-27, Here. and Here.


Up