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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77573 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs and the Law - A National Perspective for Australia
Journal: Australian Crime Prevention Council Forum  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(1981)  Pages:complete issue
Editor(s): J H Purcell
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 72
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: The articles in this special issue are devoted wholly to the question of illegal drugs, the Australian laws which outlaw them, and the ways in which the criminal justice system has dealt with drug offenders in the various Australian States.
Abstract: Written by judges, academics, professionals, and a layperson, the articles generally express critical perspectives on Australian drug laws, their manner of enforcement, and their judicial application. Most articles make reference to the spirit of public distress over the 'drug problem' about which there is a great deal of misinformation, as well as to the role of the media in perpetuating these attitudes. Commonly faulted in these articles are the provisions of the major Australian drug laws -- the Commonwealth's Narcotic Drugs Act and the Customs Act -- for their insufficient distinctions between cannabis and heroin offenses and the manner in which penalties for these offenses continue to be increased without other Government efforts to ameliorate the drug problem on a comprehensive, socially relevant basis. Other criticism leveled at policymakers is the failure to implement recommendations made by a variety of study commissions, which have emphasized the need for treatment programs for addicts, decriminalization of marijuana, and controls over the abuse of publicly accepted habit-forming substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Specific articles focus on a judge's description of his caseload and decisionmaking practices in sentencing drug offenders, as well as scholars' reviews of the history of Australian drug legislation, the relationship between drug addiction and crime and the validity of defense arguments using intoxication to disclaim criminal responsibility. Some articles include tabular data. For individual articles, see NCJ 77574-77580.
Index Term(s): Australia; Controlled Substances; Criminal responsibility; Drug abuse; Drug law enforcement; Drug law offenses; Drug regulation; Federal drug laws; Law Enforcement Teleprinter System; Policy analysis; Sentencing/Sanctions
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