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NCJ Number: 65414 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: DECRIMINALIZING DRUGS - VARIATIONS IN ENDORSEMENT WITHIN PROFESSIONAL ROLES
Journal: CONTEMPORARY DRUG PROBLEMS  Dated:(SUMMER 1978)  Pages:181-193
Author(s): E T MILLER; W SCHMIDT; K S MILLER
Corporate Author: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10007
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: P75-AS-45-A101; USPHS MH 14583
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A STUDY EXAMINED ATTITUDES TOWARD DRUG USE DECRIMINALIZATION AMONG PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED IN A LARGE METROPOLITAN DRUG OFFENDER DIVERSION PROGRAM IN FLORIDA.
Abstract: CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND MANDATORY TREATMENT PROGRAMS HAVE FAILED TO CONTROL DRUG ABUSE. A TREND TOWARD DECRIMINALIZATION OF DRUG OFFENSES IS EVIDENT IN DIVERSION PROGRAMS AND REVISED LAWS ON MARIJUANA POSSESSION. THIS RESEARCH STUDY INITIALLY IDENTIFIED 6 KEY GROUPS IN DRUG OFFENDER DIVERSION: JUDGES, PROSECUTORS, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, PROBATION OFFICERS, YOUTH SERVICES COUNSELORS, AND DRUG ABUSE PROGRAM TREATMENT STAFF. THE SAMPLE CONSISTED OF 90 INDIVIDUALS WITH EQUAL REPRESENTATION FROM EACH PROFESSIONAL GROUP. RESPONDENTS COMPLETED QUESTIONNAIRES WHICH FOCUSED ON SEVERAL ASPECTS OF DECRIMINALIZATION AND LEGALIZATION OF DRUG USE. THE MAJORITY FAVORED DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA, BUT ENDORSEMENT DECLINED SIGNIFICANTLY WHEN DRUGS SUCH AS COCAINE OR HEROIN WERE CONSIDERED. ONLY ONE-THIRD OF THE SAMPLE FAVORED THE BRITISH PHYSICIAN CONTROLLED APPROACH TO DRUG USE MANAGEMENT. TO ASSESS VARIATIONS AMONG PROFESSIONS, SCALES WERE CONSTRUCTED TO MEASURE ATTITUDES ON MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION, ALL-DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION, AND A LAW AND ORDER APPROACH TO DRUG PROBLEMS. PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND PROSECUTORS TENDED TO ENDORSE DECRIMINALIZATION WHILE JUDGES, YOUTH COUNSELORS, AND PROBATION OFFICERS EXHIBITED A MORE NEGATIVE ATTITUDE. IN CONTRAST, PUBLIC DEFENDERS RANKED THE LOWEST IN SUPPORTING STRICTER ENFORCEMENT AND INCREASED PENALTIES FOR DRUG OFFENSES. DECRIMINALIZATION PROBABLY APPEALS TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION BECAUSE IT WOULD REDUCE THE WORKLOAD OF THE OVERBURDENED CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. TABLES AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Decriminalization; Drug law offenses; Drug laws; Drug treatment programs
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65414

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