Retaining the focus and the spirit of the acclaimed First Edition, The Drug Legalization Debate, Second Edition, addresses the major issues involved in the continuing drug legalization debate - including deterrence, treatment, education, and prevention. It also examines drug use trends at the end of the millennium, the use of cannabis as a wonder drug and a look at whether legalizing drugs would really reduce violent crime.
Chapter 6: Thinking About the Drug Policy Debate
Thinking About the Drug Policy Debate
Most participants in the drug policy debate are either hawks or doves; that is, they argue in favor of criminalization and against legalization of the currently illegal drugs or in favor of legalization and against criminalization. Proponents of both sides of the debate tend to ignore four fundamental fallacies to which all skeptical observers must pay close attention. These four fallacies ignore crucial distinctions—distinctions that make a difference in the validity of a given argument: (1) ignoring the very basis of the debate, that is, whether it is consequentialist or moralistic; (2) ignoring the distinction between absolute and relative deterrence; (3) ignoring unanticipated consequences; and (4) ignoring the middle ground between the hawks' and ...