Chapter 1: Introduction Next Chapter

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Introduction
Introduction

The use of illegal drugs, particularly cocaine, became the focus of domestic public policy during the latter half of the past decade. It became difficult to switch on television or pick up a newspaper without encountering a horrific story about violence connected to the drug trade or attempts by government or citizens to fight back. The public concern spawned a federal war on drugs and significant increases in criminal justice spending at the state and local levels.

The massive amounts of government dollars spent on interdiction, apprehension, prosecution, incarceration, treatment, and public education apparently had some effect. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, use of illicit drugs has been on the decline since the mid- 1980s (see ...

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