Drug Legalization

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Jamie Hansen
For over thirty-five years, the Opposing Viewpoints series has been a mainstay of nonfiction collections in public and school libraries. Recently, the press has introduced a new series aimed at students reading below grade level. These volumes collect the writings of journalists, academics, pundits, and ordinary citizens from a variety of sources, pairing these in a pro/con format that allows readers to explore divergent perspectives in a logical and convenient arrangement. With full-color illustrations, easy-to-read fonts, and vibrant layout and design, these user-friendly volumes would augment the collections of most libraries serving student researchers. The downside of such works is that the information, particularly the statistical data, rapidly becomes dated. Additionally, at more than $30 each, these titles may be prohibitively expensive for many libraries. Two recent titles demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the series. Drug Legalization differentiates between legalization and decriminalization of drugs, while providing opinion pieces on the effectiveness of anti-drug laws as well as societal consequences of legalizing drugs. The present controversy over the legalization of marijuana in Colorado may help sell this volume to students, but the most recent article is from 2012. Homelessness explores the causes of this increasingly widespread problem, as well as the efficacy of government programs assisting the homeless population and possible legislative solutions to the problem, with at least one piece from 2007. Despite their inevitable issues of currency, these volumes can be a useful addition to libraries serving young adults. Purchase this series where budgets permit. (Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints) Reviewer: Jamie Hansen; Ages 11 to 18.
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