The Bush Administration appears determined to continue the war on drugs that has been actively pursued by all U.S. governments since the Nixon Administration. Defenders of the war on drugs often throw in an economic 1 . It has been successful because it curtails use by 2 street prices. It does rise because 3 have to be compensated 4 the risk of imprisonment and other 5 . It may be true that high prices have reduced the 6 for drugs, but the fact remains that most illegal drugs 7 popular and available, regardless of price. More important, any 8 in the number of addicts and other users has come with an enormous price tag. The U.S. alone spends almost $ 40 billion annually 9 the drug war, and other countries also spend big sums. The war is fought by seizing and 10 drugs and by apprehending and imprisoning suppliers. A 11 fact is that the U.S. imprisons a larger fraction of its population for drug-related offenses than European nations 12 for all crimes. The high prices 13 the war have provided huge profits for cartels and others who evade detection and punishment. 14 place the world market value of illegal drugs at several hundred billions of dollars- 15 the same league as the markets for cigarettes and alcohol. Although legalization would make drugs cheaper and more 16 available, sales to minors could be discouraged by harsh punishments and by restricting legal sales to 17 shops. So far, no cite has 18 a better alternative than legalization of drugs combined with a high “sin” tax on users, safeguards 19 sales to children, and 20 punishments to anyone who drives or works while impaired by drugs.