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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 154903 Find in a Library
Title: Nature of Things: Dealing With Drugs, Parts 1 and 2
Author(s): A McConnell
Corporate Author: Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 0
Sale Source: Filmakers Library
124 E 40th Street
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This two-part video examines drug polices and their effects in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands.
Abstract: Based on interviews, narrator comments, and onsite video documentation, the profiles of drug policies in the United States and Canada are portrayed as based primarily in a criminal justice strategy. Under this strategy, drug users as well as drug dealers and traffickers are identified by various law enforcement techniques, processed through the courts, and sentenced under drug laws. In the United States, the declared "War on Drugs" has given priority to the allocation of criminal justice resources to drug-law enforcement and to the incarceration of those convicted of drug offenses. Under this policy, relatively small amounts of funding go to drug prevention and treatment efforts; drug users and addicts are viewed as criminals rather than citizens in need of public health services due to the health risks posed by drug addiction and the use of "dirty" needles in intravenous drug injections (poses a risk of AIDS transmission). Canada has a similar but less draconian drug policy. The Federal Government has no focused public health policy toward drug users and tends to opt for a criminal justice strategy. The video assesses the Canada and U.S. drug policies as being largely ineffective in curtailing drug use and thus drug trafficking. Both the Netherlands and Great Britain are portrayed as having public health policies toward drug users. The Netherlands regulates marijuana use much like the use of alcohol, and persons addicted to hard drugs are offered public health services. Trafficking in hard drugs is illegal, but users are not punished; they are treated. In Great Britain, the emphasis is also on public health services for drug users and addicts. Drug clinics offer treatment services and maintenance programs for those who wish to stabilize their drug use without being completely drug-free. Prescriptions issued by the clinics and filled at pharmacies control the amount of drugs ingested and enable users to live more normal lives. The video portrays the public health strategies as being more effective in addressing the impact of drugs than the criminal justice strategy.
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Canada; Drug law enforcement; Drug legalization; Drug regulation; Drug treatment programs; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Heroin maintenance; Methadone maintenance; Needle/syringe exchange programs; Netherlands; United States of America
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Color VHS video, two parts, 100 minutes. DCC.
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