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 9: Commonsense Drug Policy
Commonsense Drug Policy
First, Reduce Harm
In 1988 Congress passed a resolution proclaiming its goal of “a drug-free America by 1995.” U.S. drug policy has failed persistently over the decades because it has preferred such rhetoric to reality, and moralism to pragmatism. Politicians confess their youthful indiscretions, then call for tougher drug laws. Drug control officials make assertions with no basis in fact or science. Police officers, generals, politicians, and guardians of public morals qualify as drug czars—but not, to date, a single doctor or public health figure. Independent commissions are appointed to evaluate drug policies, only to see their recommendations ignored as politically risky. And drug policies are [Page 158]designed, implemented, and enforced with virtually no input from the millions of Americans ...