The article, based upon an extensive literature review, reconstructs and analyzes the parallel evolution of the international drug control regime and the world opiate market, assessing the impact of the former on the latter until the rise of present-day mass markets. It shows that, since its inception, the regime has focused almost entirely on matters of supply. However, that focus has not always meant "prohibition"; until 1961, the key principle of the regime was "regulation." Given the different forms drug control policy has taken in the past, the authors conclude it may be amenable to new forms in the future.
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