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NCJ Number: 159480 Find in a Library
Title: Against the Legalization of Drugs (From Drugs and Drug Use in Society, P 360-372, 1994, Ross Coomber, ed. - See NCJ 159452)
Author(s): J Q Wilson
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwich University Press
Kent, DA1 1PF, England
Sale Source: Greenwich University Press
Unit 42, Dartford Trade Park
Hawley Road
Kent, DA1 1PF,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The author of this paper argues against legalization of drugs, maintaining that the easier the drugs are to obtain, the more widespread is their use.
Abstract: According to the author's analysis, most Vietnam veterans who regularly used heroin in Southeast Asia gave up the habit in the United States because heroin here is less available and sanctions against its use are more pronounced. He accordingly submits that the worst thing the United States government could do would be to legalize all currently illegal drugs, markedly reducing their price and increasing their availability and use. While the social costs of criminalization may he high - heavy law enforcement costs and some forms of criminality - the social costs of legalization might be higher, especially if there were a great increase in the number of addicts. According to the author, legalizing drugs would very likely remove the stigma attached to habits that are damaging to not only physical health but also moral personality. He argues that legalization would be an extremely risky social experiment whose potential negative consequences might be difficult to reverse, the power of addiction being so great. Note
Main Term(s): Controlled Substances
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Cocaine; Crack; Criminology; Drug abuse education; Drug information; Drug legalization; Drug Policy; Heroin; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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