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NCJ Number: 156417 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Policy as a Cause of Violence: The Drug War in America and Implications for Europe
Journal: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(1995)  Pages:54-67
Author(s): D Cheatwood
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This article explores some of the lessons from the American war on drugs as they may apply to Europe.
Abstract: The specific focus is on the relationship between the war on drugs and the most extreme form of criminal violence, i.e., homicide. The years 1978 through 1990 were selected as periods from which to draw data because they cover the period just prior to the initiation of this war on drugs for which relevant data are obtainable and extend as far as current data are available. The data are drawn from a variety of sources. Data on homicide numbers and rates were obtained from the Uniform Crime Reports. Through 1990 the one clearly positive change that correlated with the war on drugs in the United States was the continuing decrease in drug use; however, this cannot be viewed as a consequence of the drug war because drug use was already on the decline when the war was declared. Furthermore, data from the American Drug Abuse Warning Network show an increase in drug-related emergency admissions during 1992, which may show that, despite 10 years of war, drug use may be increasing. On the other hand, following initiation and prosecution of the war on drugs, drug seizures have continued to increase significantly, yet drug prices have continued to go down. More importantly, criminal homicide, which had been going down prior to the war on drugs, has shown a significant increase since its initiation. Further, hypotheses that predict increased violence following serious disruption of drug markets offer a more realistic explanation of what happened than do the hypotheses of a deterrent or incapacitative effect of the war. There are a number of changes that occurred in Europe that parallel some of the experiences that led to the War on Drugs in the United States. If a European nation responds in the same fashion, the same negative outcomes must be expected in the area of criminal violence. 1 table, appended list of data used and data sources, and appended media sources searched through NEXIS
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Drug law enforcement; Europe; United States of America; US/foreign comparisons
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