Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places
This book provides the first multidisciplinary and nonpartisan analysis of how the United States should decide on the legal status of cocaine, heroin and marijuana. It draws on data about the experiences of Western European nations with less punitive drug policies as well as new analyses of America's experience with legal cocaine and heroin a century ago, and of America's efforts to regulate gambling, prostitution, alcohol and cigarettes. It offers projections on the likely consequences of a number of different legalization regimes and shows that the choice about how to regulate drugs involves complicated tradeoffs among goals and conflict among social groups. The book presents a sophisticated discussion of how society should deal with the uncertainty about the consequences of legal change. Finally, it explains, in terms of individual attitudes toward risk, why it is so difficult to accomplish substantial reform of drug policy in America.
Assessing the Alternatives
Drug Prohibition American Style
Demand Side Programs
Learning from European Experiences
Characterizing Drug Policy
Laws and Their Enforcement
The Prevalence of Drug Use
Italys Natural Experiment with Depenalization
Why Have Legalizers Had So Little Impact?
Consequentially vs Deontological Arguments
The Liberal Tradition
Alternatives to Liberalism
How Does Prohibition Affect Drug Use?
The Economics of Drug Demand
The Fear of Legal Sanctions
Informal Self and Social Controls
Summary of Mechanisms
Implications for Policy
How Does Prohibition Affect Drug Harms?
A Taxonomy of DrugRelated Harms
The Implementation of Prohibition and Specific Harms
Other Substances Alcohol and Cigarettes
US Experience with Legal Cocaine and Heroin
Cannabis Policies in The Netherlands
Characterizing Dutch Cannabis Policy
Interpreting the Dutch Experience and Other Analogies
Harm Reduction in Europe
Learning from Europe
ASSESSING THE ALTERNATIVES
The Spectrum of Regimes
Total Harm and Its Components
The Necessity of Value Judgments
Projecting the Consequences of Alternative Regimes
The Basis for Continued Cannabis Prohibition
Obstacles to Moving Beyond the Drug War
Uncertainty and the Legalization Debate
The Strict Allegiance to Use Reduction
How Firm Is the Resistance to Change?
Can America Treat and Prevent Its Way out of Drug Problems?
Drug Policy in Moderation and Some Nonzero Tolerance
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