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NCJ Number: 148409 Find in a Library
Title: SOUNDING BOARD: U.S. DRUG LAWS - AN INTRODUCTION
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine  Volume:330  Issue:5  Dated:(February 3, 1994)  Pages:356-365
Author(s): R Hart
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These two articles provide opposing viewpoints regarding the legalization of drugs. Specifically, one author favors relaxing State and Federal laws that regulate the manufacture, distribution, and possession of drugs, while the second author wants to retain them.
Abstract: The premise of the first article is that the costs of the government's "war on drugs" in terms of misdirected resources, social tension, violent crime, ill health, compromised civil liberties, and international conflict have far outweighed any benefits. After drawing a parallel between the present situation and the Prohibition Era in the 1920's, the author suggests that the Federal Government redirect the bulk of its drug-control funding to prevention and treatment, reclassify marijuana as a medicinal drug, legalize the cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, eliminate mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes, and prohibit workplace random drug testing. In the second article, the author buttresses his argument that the government's current approach to drug abuse is preferable to either legalization or nonenforcement by summarizing the present situation in regard to illicit drug use, the dangers of the alternative proposals, and recommendations for change.
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Courts; Criminology; Drug laws
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