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NCJ Number: 66266 Find in a Library
Title: REINFORCEMENT CYCLE IN POLITICS AND PRESS - THE INFLUENCE ON THE MASS MEDIA IN THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING CRIMINAL NORMS
Journal: KRIMINOLOGISCHES JOURNAL  Volume:10  Issue:3  Dated:(1978)  Pages:223-227
Author(s): S SCHEERER
Corporate Author: Juventa Verlag
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Juventa Verlag
8 Muenchen 19, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: GOVERNMENT INFLUENCE ON PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS CRIMINAL NORMS VIA THE MASS MEDIA IS ILLUSTRATED THROUGH THE EXAMPLE OF WEST GERMAN DRUG LEGISLATION.
Abstract: MASS MEDIA RARELY PLAY A PART IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS, BUT WHEN THEY DO, IT USUALLY INVOLVES A REDEFINITION OF SOME BASIC CRIMINAL OR MORAL CONCEPT. IN PUBLIC DISCUSSION, MASS MEDIA BECOME OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE TO THE LEGISLATORS IN THE LEGISLATORS' ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE PUBLIC OPINION. THROUGH THE EXAMPLE OF WEST GERMAN NARCOTICS LEGISLATION, THE INFLUENCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EXERTED ON PUBLIC OPINION VIA THE MASS MEDIA IS DEMONSTRABLE. SINCE 1968-69, THE STRICT WEST GERMAN PROHIBITION OF HASHISH HAD COME UNDER PUBLIC ATTACK, AND THE MASS MEDIA INCREASINGLY FAVORED THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF HASHISH CONSUMPTION. IN REACTION TO THIS, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LAUNCHED A LARGE-SCALE CAMPAIGN STRESSING THE PERILS OF HASHISH. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DISTRIBUTED MILLIONS OF BROCHURES AND WARNED THROUGH ADVERTISEMENTS IN PAPERS, TEENAGE MAGAZINES, FILMS, AND NEWS PROGRAMS OF THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DETERIORATION OF HASHISH USERS. TO LEND EMPHASIS TO THIS CAMPAIGN, THE GOVERNMENT PASSED SIGNIFICANTLY STRICTER DRUG LEGISLATION. WHEN OPEN INFLUENCE ON PUBLIC OPINION FAILED TO BRING RESULTS, MORE COVERT ACTION WAS SOUGHT. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OFFERED FREE AND READY-TO-PRINT ARTICLES ON THE DANGERS OF HASHISH CONSUMPTION WHICH WERE REPRINTED IN NUMEROUS LOCAL NEWSPAPERS. MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SPREAD THE RUMOR THAT THE NUMBER OF INVALID WELFARE RECIPIENTS DUE TO DRUG CONSUMPTION WOULD SOON REACH 60,000 IN WEST GERMANY. TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS RECEIVED SPECIAL TRAINING TO CARRY THE ANTIDRUG CAMPAIGN INTO THE SCHOOLS. AS A RESULT OF THE COSTLY CAMPAIGN, A CHANGE IN PUBLIC OPINION BECAME DETECTABLE, DRUG USERS BECAME SUBJECT TO INCREASING STIGMATIZATION AND DECRIMINALIZATION OF HASHISH WAS NO LONGER AN ISSUE. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS FOOTNOTES. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Federal drug laws; Federal government; Germany; Legislation; Media coverage; Media support; Public Attitudes/Opinion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66266

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