The worldwide illegal drugs trade is now worth an estimated £200 billion (~ $321 billion US) – bigger than the entire output of Denmark and Portugal.
But experts said clamping down on drugs like cocaine and cannabis makes crooks richer as it raises the price.
They looked at hundreds of studies and found that, in most cases, crackdowns on illegal drugs were also associated with more violence.
Co-author Dr Evan Wood, of the International Centre for Science in Drugs Policy, Vancouver, said: “Prohibition drives up the value of banned substances astronomically.”
He added: “Drug violence in places like Mexico and the US, as well as the persistent gun violence we are seeing on city streets in other countries, appears to be directly linked to drug prohibition.”
The International Journal of Drug Policy report said governments should warn of health effects, rather than pay for “counter-productive law enforcement”.
– Article from The Daily Mirror