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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228950 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Policy and KO
Journal: Journal of Crime and Justice  Volume:32  Issue:2  Dated:2009  Pages:139-171
Author(s): Thomas Mieczkowski
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 33
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the history of drug control and the alternating cycle of availability and prohibition that has characterized the United States since the mid-18th century.
Abstract: In the United States, drug control policy debates are a series of actions and reactions, conceptualized as a game or contest. This contest, conducted for more than a century, has come to have the situational character of a ko, a strategic entanglement of opponents which generates an infinite repetitive cycle of action and reaction. A ko rule requires an action by a contestant which breaks the cycle and allows the game to proceed towards a conclusion. The drug control debates are manifested as a cyclic recurrence of arguments about prohibition and tolerance. This article reviews the historic dynamics of drug control and this cyclical theme that began about 150 years in the past. It evaluates the differences separating prohibitionist and decriminalization advocates, and analogizes the situation to the board game Go and the cyclic entrapment known as a ko. The resolution of these fundamentally oppositional viewpoints is minute; however potential pathways exist through a shift in the definition of drug abuse in to a public health perspective, and adapting some of the control regimen currently employed in the regulation of alcohol. Table, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Drug regulation
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Drug research
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