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: 113187 Find in a Library
Title: Taking Drugs Seriously
Journal: Public Interest  Issue:92  Dated:(Summer 1988)  Pages:32-50
Author(s): J Kaplan
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A promising way of substantially reducing the demand for illegal drugs would be to require 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.
Abstract: An additional approach that would focus on supply would be to focus enforcement efforts on open-air drug markets and continue to use forfeiture of convicted drug dealers' assets. These approaches are both more realistic and likely to be more effective than proposals such as legalization. The main problem with legalization is that it ignores basic pharmacology. Heroin and cocaine are clearly dangerous drugs. In addition, a prescription system would be inappropriate because people do not use marijuana, cocaine, and heroin to cure ailments. Moreover, the public-health costs of legalizing cocaine and heroin would outweigh the current costs of criminalization, because the use would increase, and legal access for adults would make drugs available to youth. Although education appears to be an attractive option, it is unlikely to lower the level of drug abuse. Thus, some coercion will be necessary through efforts focusing on both dealers and users.
Main Term(s): Drug law enforcement
Index Term(s): Controlled Substances; Drug abuse; Drug prevention programs; Urinalysis
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.