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NCJ Number: 156748 Find in a Library
Title: Unwinnable War on Drugs: Why the ABA (American Bar Association) Should Pull Out
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1992)  Pages:10-15,49-52
Author(s): R King
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 10
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that the "drug problem" in America has been blown out of proportion to its impact on Americans' health and has led to incredibly intrusive and injurious government actions against citizens out of proportion to the dangerousness of their behavior; the Federal government's and American Bar Association's drug policies are traced over the past few decades.
Abstract: The Drug Abuse Warning Network reported data on drug-related (not drug-caused) deaths in 1990 (the most recent figures available) from cocaine/crack (2,483) and from heroin/morphine (1,976). DAWN also collects data on "emergency room mentions," national totals extrapolated from cases "consistently reported" in samplings, wherein a hospital emergency admission report contains a reference to an illegal drug. For 1990 this figure for cocaine/crack was 80,355 and for heroin/morphine, 33,884. The damage done by these two most-feared substances is in the same range as falling from bicycles and household accidents and does not begin to rival the impairment and deaths directly attributable to tobacco and alcohol use. For the most part, the "drug problem" has been hyped by politicians as a major national problem that warrants costly, intrusive, but ineffective government intervention in the lives of citizens. The American Bar Association has also lended its support to this "war on drugs." It is time for both the government and the American Bar Association to take a realistic look at the nature of the drug problem in the United States and adopt nonintrusive policies that will help rather than harm our citizens.
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Drug effects; Drug law enforcement
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