Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 27, 2001 - Business & Economics - 479 pages
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.
 

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Drug war heresies: learning from other vices, times, and places

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MacCoun and Reuter, former staff members at the RAND who study drug policy and behavior, have produced one of the largest, most sweeping comparative investigations of the contemporary use, regulation ... Read full review

Drug war heresies: learning from other vices, times, and places

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

MacCoun and Reuter, former staff members at the RAND who study drug policy and behavior, have produced one of the largest, most sweeping comparative investigations of the contemporary use, regulation ... Read full review

Contents

OVERVIEW
1
The Arguments
3
The Evidence
5
Assessing the Alternatives
10
Drug Prohibition American Style
15
DrugRelated Problems
21
Enforcement
24
Demand Side Programs
32
Conclusions
202
Learning from European Experiences
205
Characterizing Drug Policy
207
Analytic Framework
210
Laws and Their Enforcement
213
The Prevalence of Drug Use
221
Italys Natural Experiment with Depenalization
230
Conclusions
236

Conclusion
38
THE ARGUMENTS
39
Elite Opinion
42
Public Opinion
48
Why Have Legalizers Had So Little Impact?
50
Conclusion
54
Philosophical Underpinnings
55
Consequentially vs Deontological Arguments
56
The Liberal Tradition
58
Alternatives to Liberalism
62
Implications
71
How Does Prohibition Affect Drug Use?
72
The Economics of Drug Demand
76
The Fear of Legal Sanctions
78
Informal Self and Social Controls
86
Summary of Mechanisms
92
Implications for Policy
94
How Does Prohibition Affect Drug Harms?
101
A Taxonomy of DrugRelated Harms
102
The Implementation of Prohibition and Specific Harms
112
Conclusions
127
THE EVIDENCE
128
Gambling
129
Prostitution
143
Other Substances Alcohol and Cigarettes
156
Alcohol
157
Cigarettes
169
Conclusion
181
US Experience with Legal Cocaine and Heroin
183
Cocaine
184
The Opiates
196
Cannabis Policies in The Netherlands
238
Characterizing Dutch Cannabis Policy
239
Outcomes
251
Interpreting the Dutch Experience and Other Analogies
263
Harm Reduction in Europe
265
The Netherlands
272
Swiss Experimentation
278
Heroin Maintenance
286
Learning from Europe
297
ASSESSING THE ALTERNATIVES
300
The Spectrum of Regimes
310
Total Harm and Its Components
317
The Necessity of Value Judgments
319
Summary Propositions
325
Projecting the Consequences of Alternative Regimes
328
Background
341
The Basis for Continued Cannabis Prohibition
356
Appendix
366
Obstacles to Moving Beyond the Drug War
370
Uncertainty and the Legalization Debate
371
Politics
374
The Strict Allegiance to Use Reduction
384
How Firm Is the Resistance to Change?
400
Can America Treat and Prevent Its Way out of Drug Problems?
403
Drug Policy in Moderation and Some Nonzero Tolerance
407
Bibliography
409
Data Sources for Figures
455
Author Index
458
Subject Index
469
Copyright

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