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NCJ Number: 158168 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Prohibition: An Unnatural Disaster
Journal: Connecticut Law Review  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:571- 612
Author(s): S B Duke
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 32
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of drug policies concludes that the current drug war is an indefensible disaster that harms almost everyone.
Abstract: Most people in the United States insist, often at great personal cost, on the right to consume substances that they desire. Many are just as insistent that others be denied their own drug of choice. That is why tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine are permitted while only much less popular drugs are banned. Prohibition creates the motivation to steal and rob due to the higher free-market price, murder and other violence in illegal drug markets themselves, victim vulnerability to predators, the proliferation of deadly weapons, police corruption, distraction of law enforcement from domestic violence and other nondrug offenses, and court and correctional overloads. Other costs are hypocrisy, the annual waste of at least $100 billion in government spending, urban blight, public health costs, destruction of civil liberties, increases racial hostility, and major costs to nonusers. The benefits of prohibition are dubious. Although the use of legalized drugs will probably increase following repeal, the increases will be mostly in the use of much safer, less addictive drugs like marijuana and will be offset by reductions in the use of more dangerous drugs like alcohol. Repealing prohibition would not require elimination of penalties for impaired driving; would enable us to develop a comprehensive policy dealing with drug use by pregnant women; and would still permit criminalization of all drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, to minors. The failed policies of the 80-year drug war clearly indicate the need for a change. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Drug Policy; Drug regulation; Drug Related Crime
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