Drug policies vary by society. In many societies the use of psychoactive substances has been sanctioned and in many instances associated with spiritual and religious practices. In the United States, substance use policies have changed radically over time from a laissez-faire approach to highly regulated and policed policies. U.S. substance use policy began to change in the early 20th century as concerns arose about the morality of drug use. In recent years, the public debate has focused on whether substance abuse is primarily a public health or a legal concern. U.S. public policy today reflects both points of view, contributing to drug policy strategies that are frequently contradictory and at odds in how they function.

International Drug Policies

Psychoactive drug use has been an important part of ...

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