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NCJ Number: 63742 Find in a Library
Title: SHOULD HEROIN USE BE DECRIMINALIZED? (FROM CRITICAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 1979, BY R G IACOVETTA AND DAE H CHANG - SEE NCJ-63717)
Author(s): G F UELMEN
Corporate Author: Carolina Academic Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Carolina Academic Press
Durham, NC 27701
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF HEROIN DECRIMINALIZATION ARE EXAMINED AND COMPARISONS MADE WITH THE BRITISH SYSTEM, WITH THE CONCLUSION BEING THAT DECRIMINALIZATION IS NOT JUSTIFIED AT PRESENT.
Abstract: PREVIOUS APPROACHES TO DEALING WITH THE HEROIN PROBLEM HAVE INCLUDED ATTEMPTS TO ERADICATE THE SUPPLY, MAJOR METHADONE TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR ADDICTS, AND THE EQUALLY UNSUCCESSFUL 'GET TOUGH' STANCE CHARACTERIZED BY STIFF SENTENCES FOR CONVICTED OFFENDERS. ARGUMENTS FOR DECRIMINALIZATION USUALLY BEGIN AT THE POINT THAT CRIMINALIZATION HAS BEEN A FAILURE IN CONTROLLING SUPPLY AND DEMAND AND, IN FACT, INVITES WORSE EVILS THAN DECRIMINALIZATION. DECRIMINALIZATION AND A HEROIN MAINTENANCE PROGRAM ARE SEEN AS FAVORABLE BECAUSE SUPPLY OF HEROIN COULD BE CUT BY COMPETITION, RELATED CRIMES COMMITTED TO SUPPORT THE HABIT WOULD BE RENDERED UNNECESSARY AFTER PRICES COME DOWN AND PURCHASING IS NOT ILLEGAL, THE EXPERIENCE OF ENGLAND WITH A HEROIN MAINTENANCE PROGRAM IS SUCCESSFUL, AND EXPERIENCE WITH MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION SHOWS THAT DRUG USE WILL NOT INCREASE JUST BECAUSE CRIMINAL PENALTIES ARE REPEALED. THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS BEHIND THESE ARGUMENTS ARE ANALYZED, WITH THE CONCLUSION THAT ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF DECRIMINALIZATION CAN BE REFUTED, THAT ELIMINATION OF THE BLACK MARKET IS UNLIKELY, AND THE REDUCTION OF CRIME CANNOT BE PRESUMED. THE COSTS OF SUCH A PROGRAM, HINTED AT BY THE BRITISH PROGRAM, ARE VERY HIGH, ALTHOUGH THE U.S. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF BRITAIN. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (RFC)
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; England; Heroin; Heroin maintenance
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