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NCJ Number: 127486 Find in a Library
Title: Legalizing Drugs is Not the Answer
Journal: Human Rights  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1990)  Pages:25-28,54
Author(s): T J Scorza
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The pros and cons of legalization of drugs are discussed with the emphasis on the problems associated with legalization.
Abstract: In its original form, the argument for legalization was academic and abstract. For intellectuals on the left, legalization of narcotics is another milepost on the road to self-realization and authenticity. Among right-wing intellectuals, legalization is a matter of free market principles, economics, and free choice. The current form presents legalization as the practical, hardheaded, and realistic solution to the war on drugs that is being lost. The article presents Alaska as an example of drug legalization. Alaska legalized marijuana 15 years ago for adults. Studies in 1983 and 1988 showed that the population of Alaska used 20 percent more marijuana when compared with the average use among the lower 48 states. Recriminalization of marijuana is to be put on the ballot in the November 1990 elections with 55 percent of the population in favor of recriminalization. The basic argument for legalization is that it will reduce crime and protect civil liberties; however, legalization is only for adults. Therefore, the same crime cycle will be there, albeit concentrated at the younger generation. The basic argument against legalization is that the threat to civil liberties comes from drug use itself and that the crime reduction will not really occur. The final argument offered against legalization is a moral one based on the idea that not even the most vociferous legalizers say that narcotics use is good for anybody.
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Decriminalization; Drug law enforcement; Economic influences
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