skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 156587 Find in a Library
Title: Against the Legalization of Drugs
Journal: Commentary  Dated:(February 1990)  Pages:21-28
Author(s): J Q Wilson
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 8
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Drug legalization is examined with respect to past and current arguments on each side; the analysis concludes that legalization would probably result in a sharp increase in the use of cocaine, heroin, and PCP; a more widespread degradation of the human personality; and a greater rate of accidents and violence.
Abstract: In 1972, economist Milton Friedman called for legalizing heroin on the basis of both ethics and economics. The government did not follow this advice, and the number of heroin addicts is the same as it was then due to heroin's loss of appeal for young people. Legalizing heroin would have eliminated both financial and medical reasons to avoid the drug. Cocaine and crack are currently the focus of attention, and some people are advocating legalization. If this occurs, we will have a far more serious problem with cocaine. Supporters of legalization use both logical fallacies and factual errors. Others argue that current Federal policies have failed. However, high-rate cocaine use is uncommon. In addition, an analogy with tobacco is inappropriate; tobacco shortens life, but cocaine debases it. Treatment on demand is also an ineffective solution due to the realities that addicts often do not seek treatment and that effective treatment is not available.
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Drug Policy
Note: DCC
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.