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NCJ Number: 136506 Find in a Library
Title: Moral and Practical Case for Drug Legalization
Journal: Hofstra Law Review  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:(Spring 1990)  Pages:607-702
Author(s): J Ostrowski
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 96
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents a comprehensive argument for the legalization of consciousness-altering drugs.
Abstract: In Part I the methodology of drug policy analysis is explored. Drug prohibition is defined as "the initiation of physical force against persons engaged in nonviolent actions and voluntary transactions involving prohibited drugs," and legalization is defined as the "removal of such force to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the form of legalization adopted in a particular State or nation." In Part II a moral argument for drug legalization is presented. The theories of two contemporary philosophers, Douglas Rasmussen and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, are discussed. Despite the fact that Rasmussen and Hoppe start from different premises, both arrive at the conclusion that individuals have a moral right of self-ownership. Part III presents a cost-benefit analysis of drug prohibition. The major costs of prohibition include categories of crime costs, medical costs, economic costs, and miscellaneous costs. The article concludes that prohibition stimulates crime and reduces the ability of the criminal justice system to address violent crime and dangerous criminals. Prohibition inherently threatens civil liberties and destroys the social structure of the poorest neighborhoods. 459 footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Drug law enforcement; Police effectiveness
Note: From a symposium on drug decriminalization.
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