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NCJ Number: 161689 Find in a Library
Title: Should Some Illegal Drugs Be Legalized?
Journal: Issues in Science and Technology  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1990)  Pages:43-49
Author(s): E A Nadelmann; M A R Kleiman; F J Earls
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three different views regarding current drug law enforcement and public health policies are presented; they focus on whether drug policies should be extended, improved, or replaced.
Abstract: Proponents of legalization of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs argue for the need to change from a misguided criminal justice approach to drug abuse to a more compassionate and practical strategy based on public health and welfare. They argue that criminal justice policies involving international drug law enforcement, interdiction, and domestic enforcement of both high-level traffickers and street-level sellers, have not only failed to solve the problem, they have made matters far worse. However, the strongest argument for legal is a moral one; those who do no harm to others should not be harmed by others, and particularly not by the government. The opponent of legalization emphasizes the economic aspects and the need to reduce costs to both users and others. Opponents of legalization argue that allowing drug use among certain age groups would lead to increased use among adolescents and that individuals would still commit crimes to buy drugs. The public health perspective is that a more important issue is whether to make cigarettes and alcohol illegal and that as long as little control exists over the most innocent and legal drugs, it makes little sense to introduce more legal drugs. In addition, society should build on the successes of public health strategies among the general population to strategies targeted at the criminal subgroup in which individuals are heavily involved in drug sales.
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Drug laws; Drug legalization; Drug regulation
Note: DCC
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