Drugs and Rights

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Jul 31, 1992 - Philosophy - 312 pages
This timely and important book is the first serious work of philosophy to address the question: Do adults have a moral right to use drugs for recreational purposes? Many critics of the "war on drugs" denounce law enforcement as counterproductive and ineffective. Douglas Husak argues that the "war on drugs" violates the moral rights of adults who want to use drugs for pleasure, and that criminal laws against such use are incompatible with moral rights. This is not a polemical tract but a scrupulously argued work of philosophy that takes full account of all available data concerning drug use in the United States today. The author is careful to describe the properties a recreational drug would have to possess before the state would be justified in prohibiting it. Since criminal laws against the use of recreational drugs are justified neither by the harm users cause to themselves nor by the harm users cause to each other, Professor Husak concludes that such laws are, in almost all cases, unjustified. This book will be of particular interest to philosophers in applied ethics and philosophers of law, but it will prove provocative reading for anyone with a serious concern in the issue of drug use and drug control.
 

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Contents

Drugs drug use and criminalization
9
MEDICAL AND LEGAL DEFINITIONS OF DRUGS
19
LEGAL REGULATION OF DRUGS
27
CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES
37
RECREATIONAL DRUG USE
44
THE DECRIMINALIZATION MOVEMENT
51
ARGUMENTS FOR CRIMINALIZATION
59
Drugs and harm to users
71
UTILITARIANISM AND DRUG USE
147
THE EVALUATIVE ASSUMPTIONS IN UTILITARIANISM
157
HARM AND DISUTILITY
162
THE NATURE OF CRIMINAL HARM
170
ANTICIPATORY OFFENSES
178
DRUGS AND CRIME
195
CONCLUSION
207
Restrictions on drug use
209

CONSEQUENTIALISM AND DRUG USE
74
AUTONOMY AND DRUG USE
81
ANALOGIES
90
ADDICTION AND AUTONOMY
100
ADDICTION SLAVERY AND AUTONOMY
117
SOFT PATERNALISM AND DRUG USE
130
HARD PATERNALISM AND DRUG USE
138
CONCLUSION
141
Drugs and harm to others
145
LOCAL CONTROLS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY
212
REASONABLE REGULATION OF DRUG USE
222
PREGNANT DRUG USERS
230
ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS
243
MISINTERPRETATIONS
251
Notes
257
Works cited
289
Index
307
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