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NCJ Number: 157352 Find in a Library
Title: Social Costs of the Discovery and Suppression of the Clandestine Distribution of Heroin; Clandestine Distribution of Heroin, Its Discovery and Suppression: A Comment
Journal: Journal of Political Economy, Part I  Dated:(July-August 1969)  Pages:484-488
Author(s): E Erickson; R A Fernandez
Date Published: 1969
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These articles respond to that written by Professor Rottenberg, which suggested various ways to shift the supply curve of heroin to the left, thereby raising the price of heroin and reducing the demand for the drug.
Abstract: The first commentary discusses the impact that the proposed shift in the heroin supply curve will have on social costs and drug law enforcement efforts. Because income spent for narcotics is derived largely from clandestine or coercive extraction of money (i.e., criminal activity), it is likely that the larger the percentage increase in the price of heroin achieved by law enforcement activity, the larger the redistributional costs borne by society's non-drug users will be. The author also argues that the institutional pressures and frictions set up by the market surpluses, and shortages generated by the social policy of restricting the drug trade, contribute to a decline in the quality of general law enforcement services. The second response argues that Rottenberg, in his economic analysis, has ignored the unique problems posed by drug addiction. Because punishment for drug offenses does not serve as a deterrent to the drug addict, there are no constraints on drug use, and therefore an unconstrained maximum situation emerges. Therefore, society needs to consider alternatives to reducing drug use, the most effective of which would consist of therapeutic programs, rather than traditional suppression methods.
Main Term(s): Drug dependence
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Economic analysis of crime; Heroin
Note: DCC
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