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NCJ Number: 158169 Find in a Library
Title: Drug War: Myth, Reality and Politics
Journal: Connecticut Law Review  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:623- 638
Author(s): S Jonas
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 16
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of drug policies and Steven Duke's proposal for legalizing many currently illegal drugs concludes that both prohibitionists and legalizers have misframed the argument and that to bring significant change, the drug policy reform movement must begin to develop a realistic political strategy and set of political tactics.
Abstract: Both sides in the debate ignore the reality that some illegal drugs are legal in reality, because only a small number of antidrug laws are enforced. Drugs can be grouped into three categories: legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, prescription psychoactive drugs, and illicit drugs like marijuana and cocaine. As Duke notes, the main drug problem in the United States results from the use of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. Alcohol and tobacco use are gateway drugs for children, leading to the use of illicit drugs. Prohibitionists argue that the benefits of the drug war outweigh the costs. However, the drug war is not really about controlling drug use; it aims mainly at controlling supply, which usually exceeds demand. The first task in drug policy reform is to develop a comprehensive program for dealing effectively with drug use and drug abuse. Eleven actions are needed, including developing a science-based system for classifying all drugs; attacking the culture of drug use; conducting a major campaign to reduce the impact of the gateway drug effect; and setting price, tax, and availability policies. Next, a politically salable program for reform should be developed. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Alcoholic beverage consumption; Controlled Substances; Decriminalization; Drug abuse; Drug Policy; Drug regulation; Drug Related Crime; Juvenile drug use; Tobacco use
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