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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161631 Find in a Library
Title: Addict as a Criminal: Perpetuation of a Legend
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Dated:(January 1975)  Pages:19-27
Author(s): C E Reasons
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 9
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article traces the evolution of the criminalization of drug use in the United States.
Abstract: Early in this century the Narcotics Division of the U.S. Treasury Department obtained the official seal of approval for a "criminal approach" to the drug problem. This definition of addicts as criminals was strengthened under the vigorous leadership of Harry J. Anslinger, director of the separate Bureau of Narcotics established in 1930; it became further entrenched with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act and subsequent "get tough" legislation in the 1950's. Beginning in the late 1950's, criticism of the Nation's drug policy by scholars, physicians, and legal experts increased in volume and intensity; Anslinger retired in 1962, and the drug agency was reorganized. Passage of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act signaled -- or so it seemed to some people -- an era of enlightenment. In spite of all these forces for change, the cornerstone of America's approach to drugs remains what it was 45 years ago: the addict is defined in the law as a criminal, is dealt with officially as a criminal, and is widely regarded as a criminal. Recent organizational changes and revelations regarding drug enforcement practices suggest that the criminal approach remains dominant, although treatment and rehabilitation have received more emphasis than previously. 45 notes
Main Term(s): Drug laws
Index Term(s): Criminalization; Drug law enforcement; Drug law offenses; Drug Policy
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