Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and by Robert J. MacCoun PDF

By Robert J. MacCoun

ISBN-10: 0511017928

ISBN-13: 9780511017926

ISBN-10: 0521572630

ISBN-13: 9780521572637

This meticulously researched learn represents the 1st attempt to supply a nonpartisan and goal research of ways the us should still technique the drug legalization query. It surveys what's identified in regards to the results of other drug guidelines in Western Europe and what occurred whilst cocaine and heroin have been criminal within the US a century in the past. The booklet exhibits that legalization consists of diverse tradeoffs among future health and crime and the pursuits of the interior urban minority groups and the center classification. The ebook explains why it's so tricky to complete sizeable reform of drug coverage.

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Additional info for Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places (RAND Studies in Policy Analysis)

Sample text

By 1996, there were over 400,000 people in prison or jail serving time for selling or using drugs; the comparable figure for 1980 was about 31,000. The percentage of felony drug trafficking convictions resulting in prison sentences has also risen; by 1996, the figure was 43 percent, compared to 37 percent in 1986. Felony drug possession convictions and prison commitments were also rising; in 1994, 136,000 persons were convicted of felony possession (which does not include possession with intent to distribute18), and 29 percent of these were sentenced to state prison.

The marijuana possession arrests include an unknown fraction of arrests that posed no threat of criminal penalties because they were for first-time offenders in states that had decriminalized marijuana during the 1970s. For example, one-third of all California’s marijuana possession arrests were under a statute that imposed only fines (unpublished data from the California Bureau of Criminal Justice). Some of those arrested were in fact marijuana sellers whom the police were unable to charge with any other offense.

Prevention Initiation into illicit drug use, as opposed to dependence, is primarily a youth phenomenon. Eighty percent of users start before the age of 18. More than half of those who use illicit drugs are in their late teens or their twenties, and drug use peaks at an earlier age than that for alcohol, tobacco, or psychoactive prescription drugs (Kandel, 1993). S. federal government has considerably increased funding for programs to prevent adolescent involvement in licit and illicit drugs; in 1995 the figure was about $2 billion.

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Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places (RAND Studies in Policy Analysis) by Robert J. MacCoun


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