Lies, Damned Lies and Drug War Statistics

Coming in the mail from Amazon is my new copy of “Lies, Damned Lies and Drug War Statistics,” the book by Matthew Robinson and Renee Scherlen. I’ve actually meant to order it for awhile now, but just remembered to do it when I saw this about a book forum luncheon at the Cato Institute:

Each year the Office of National Drug Control Policy publishes a report called The National Drug Control Strategy. Those reports are supposed to provide information about trends in drug use and assess federal programs that are aimed at reducing the supply of and demand for illegal drugs. Policymakers rely on that information in making budget decisions and holding executive branch agencies accountable.

Matthew B. Robinson and Renee G. Scherlen conducted an independent review of those reports, and their research found numerous instances in which information was distorted to justify continuing the war on drugs. Join us for a discussion of the use and abuse of statistics and of policy recommendations for changing the federal approach to problems associated with drug use.

The Cato Institute program will feature the authors, as well as comments by Dr. David Murray, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of National Drug Control Policy.  I'll admit I'm extra curious as to what his reactions will be.

Most of us (who can’t make it to Washington) can watch the event live in RealVideo next Thursday, May 31, at Noon Eastern. Mark your calendars, and click here for the RealVideo link.

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Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Mark Bennett - May 28, 2007 9:43 PM

Jamie,

All I need to know about drug war statistics is this: a veteran DEA drug warrior bemoaned to me the fact that, 30 years on, there was more cocaine available cheaper than at the beginning of the war.

The agent favored increased penalties, to include death for drug dealers. Reasonable minds would, I hope, differ.

Mark.

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