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NCJ Number: 201773 Find in a Library
Title: Can We Make Prohibition Work Better?: An Assessment of American Drug Policy (Video)
Series: NIJ Perspectives on Crime and Justice Seminars
Author(s): Peter Reuter Ph.D.
Date Published: February 11, 1997
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice
Audiovisual Media Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Room 1311
Washington, DC 20530
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This video presents a lecture by Dr. Peter Reuter, who analyzes the effectiveness of American drug policies.
Abstract: Part of the National Institute of Justice’s Perspectives on Crime and Justice lecture series, this lecture takes American drug policies to task as punitive, divisive, and expensive. Dr. Reuter asks several questions regarding our drug policies, such as, are our drug problems exacerbated by the harshness of our policies? Do we give too much credit to our drug policies as the solution to the problem? He questions the emphasis on punishment and suggests that there is no credible basis for which to believe that harsh punishments are succeeding in reducing the drug problem in America. He challenges that without a systematic evaluation of the effects of drug enforcement and punishment, the current stagnation of policy will continue. Dr. Reuter also claims that the intended punitiveness of our drug policies is reflected in the budgets surrounding them; little is allocated for drug treatment. Next, Dr. Reuter questions whether American drug policy has accomplished its goal? He sites research showing that drug prices and availability have remained relatively unaffected by drug enforcement and punishment, which is suggestive that drug policy has failed to accomplish its goal. Dr. Reuter goes on to note that drug policies disproportionately affect lower income minorities, who overwhelmingly view drug policies as an attempt to continue the historical oppression of minorities. Dr. Reuter then examines European drug policies and drug problems and suggests that the lesser drug problem and violence problem may perhaps be attributed to easier drug policies. Finally, in this lecture, Dr. Reuter claims that government agencies, especially the DEA and FBI, not only lack analytic examination of their drug policies, but are actually anti-analytic. He contends there is no evaluation of American drug policy, and as such, the drug problem in America will continue. In conclusion, he posits that perhaps the answer to the American drug problem is to do less and study more.
Main Term(s): Drug Policy; Policy analysis
Index Term(s): Drug eradication programs; Drug law enforcement; Drug laws
Note: VHS color video 65 minutes. See NCJ-182729 for the written report.
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