It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned — and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. It seems obvious. It seems manifestly true.
The IMF publishes its twice-yearly health check on the world economy today, which includes its latest forecasts. The outlook has brightened considerably since an interim forecast in January. Signs of stronger activity are visible in both rich countries and emerging markets. Forecasts for worldwide GDP growth are therefore likely to be revised upwards across the board. The IMF’s boss, Christine Lagarde, recently noted that after six years of disappointing growth, the world economy has a “spring in its step”.