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Criminal Justice/Enforcement Strategies of Drug Control

  • By: Tim McSweeney & Paul Turnbull
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Many governments spend considerable sums of public money, both directly and indirectly, on “drug-related” expenditure in pursuit of the current prohibitionist policy of drug control. Over the last 40 years much of this spending has been devoted to drug law enforcement (DLE) activities. This is despite limited evidence for the effectiveness of efforts aimed at curbing drug production at source or constraining supply along transit routes and within national borders. While there tends to be more research supporting the use of certain demand and harm reduction strategies (e.g., drug treatment), any benefits from these interventions are often only derived by a minority of the “problem” drug-using population. Given the emergence of new illicit drug problems in a number of developing countries, and the persistence ...

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