skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 113185 Find in a Library
Title: Great Drug Debate
Journal: Public Interest  Issue:92  Dated:(Summer 1988)  Pages:3-65
Author(s): E A Nadelmann; J Kaplan; P Reuter
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 63
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These three papers examine the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing drugs that are currently illicit, propose new approaches to enforcement to reduce the demand for illegal drugs, and critically analyze current efforts at supply interdiction.
Abstract: A discussion of legalization argues that current drug programs are costly and ineffective and that legalization would not lead to a dramatic rise in substance abuse. It notes that legalization scenarios range from virtually no government restraints to total government control over the production and sale of drugs. The second paper regards improved enforcement efforts as more realistic than legalization, which ignores the fact that heroin and cocaine are clearly dangerous drugs and that legal access for adults would make them available to youths, just as alcohol is now available. It argues that the greatest impact on drug use might be achieved by requiring urinalysis for people arrested of street crimes and to make the maintenance of a urine that is clean of cocaine, heroin, and PCP a requirement for all who are released on bail, placed on probation, or released on parole. The third paper notes that enforcement efforts have consumed most of the funding for efforts to address drugs and that efforts to interdict supplies have been and will continue to be ineffective. It concludes that putting more money into drug treatment and less money into supply interdiction would provide greater benefits to the United States population.
Main Term(s): Decriminalization
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Drug law enforcement; Drug regulation; Drug smuggling; Services effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.