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The Issue of Legalizing Drugs-Chapter 12

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-1-4377-4450-7.00012-6
  • Law
  • Political Science


Publisher Summary This chapter focuses on the basis for the drug legalization argument and the distinctions between decriminalization and legalization. Drug legalization is a controversial public issue. It is not an easy task to deliberate all the important considerations of the issue. The drug problem for many citizens is merely something that is seen on television or read about in the local newspaper. Many people have a mindset that just because they are not victims of drug abuse or because they do not personally know a victim, the drug problem is somebody else's concern. Drug users consider themselves victims of governmental and societal repression rather than victims of drug abuse. Many people view a victim of drug abuse as one who suffers an overdose or experiences some negative physical manifestation created by the use of a particular substance. The unsuspecting victims of drug crimes often suffer from fatal accidents, assaults, robberies, or murders. Some people feel that the drug problem is one that needs a quick fix and, therefore, should be easily remedied either through legalization policies or, at the other extreme, through the introduction of repressive law enforcement measures. The chapter also discusses the alternative solutions for the reduction of drug abuse. These solutions are time-consuming and require equal participation on the part of law enforcement, schools, colleges, and universities, researchers, and social treatment programs. An effective drug control policy must include unified participation from a general public who is willing, informed, and ready to make constructive choices about controlling drug use and related criminal activity.

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