One thing that all parties in the American drug-policy debate agree upon is the desirability of eliminating the traffic in illicit drugs and the esurient criminal syndicates that control it. There are two divergent strategies for achieving this end. The first is the war on drugs. The second, which emerged in the late 1980s as a highly controversial alternative to the drug war, is controlled legalization. What follows is a historically informed critique of both approaches.
The founder & executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance argues that prohibition has failed -- again. Instead of treating the demand for illegal drugs as a market, & addicts as patients, governments have boosted the profits of drug lords & fostered the narcostates that threaten us all. A smarter drug control regime would value harm reduction over criminalization, & reality over rhetoric. Adapted from the source document.
"In this unique and engaging book, Sue Pryce tackles the major issues surrounding drug policy. Why do governments persist with prohibition policies, despite their proven inefficacy? Why are some drugs criminalized, and some not? And why does society care about drug use at all? Pryce guides us through drug policy around the world"--
Drug use is an inherent part of our culture. Since the Sumerians wrote of the 'joy of the poppy plant' in 3000BC to the crack dens of today, people in every society have wanted to use drugs. Drug policy cannot be effective until this basic fact is acknowledged and incorporated into policy-thinking. Until we recognize that drug use is an integral feature of society, it cannot be eliminated. In this unique and engaging new book, the former chair of DrugScope Sue Pryce tackles the major issues surrounding drug policy. Why do governments persist with prohibition policies, despite their proven inefficacy? Why are some drugs criminalized, and some not? And why does society care about drug use at all? In a highly polarized debate, in which emotions run high, Pryce illuminates these questions and guides us through the problems, possibilities and realities of drug policy around the world.
This study is an empirical assessment of the impact of the drug decriminalization policy followed by Portugal in July, 2001. We investigate especially the impact of the policy change on the price of illicit drugs. The analysis is performed using a difference-in-differences approach and a comprehensive set of countries as control group. We also investigate the application of Synthetic Control Method in order to construct a synthetic control unit from a convex combination of other countries. The results suggest that the prices of opiates and cocaine in the post-treatment period did not decrease in the sequence of the policy change. This result contrasts with the argument that softer drug law enforcement necessarily leads to lower prices and, consequently, to higher drug usage rates and dependence.