The Stock Market & War on Drugs

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In the depths of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Congress repealed alcohol prohibition. In the depths of the Great Recession of today, California voters may soon repeal marijuana prohibition. Coincidence? Maybe not. The Socionomics Institute, a Georgia-based think tank, has released a report that finds a relationship between the War on Drugs and the health of the stock market. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average is rising, the federal government typically cracks down on drug use. When it’s stagnant or falling, the government typically relaxes drug controls. “Social mood influences people’s actions and their social judgments,” the report explains. “In times of positive mood, people have the resources to enforce their social desires. They can afford to express black and white social issues preferred during bull markets, and drug abuse is a favorite target.” But during hard times, “people have other, bigger worries and begin to view recreational drugs as less dangerous, if not innocuous in offering stress relief, pain reduction, and the ability to cope with the pressures of negative social mood.” In other words, when the market is low, people just want to get high.

Major events in the War on Drugs pegged to the Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Click on image for larger size)

title: caption

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate