Drugs: Should We Legalize, Decriminalize, or Deregulate? / Edition 1

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Does drug addiction exist? Do we have a right to use drugs? Is personal responsibility achieved at the cost of individual liberty? Can drugs ever be controlled? Would a free market in drugs reduce social problems? This rich and diverse collection assembles a wide range of views in the ongoing debate over drug legalization, decriminalization, and deregulation in America.

Reformers looking to lighten and eliminate drug laws are a divided group, with some claiming that drug abuse is a disease, a national health problem that should be treated as such, while those committed to the "war on drugs" stress personal responsibility, and that there is no such thing as the "disease" of addiction. Attitudes are splintered over government involvement in enforcement and regulation.

Psychologist Jeffrey A. Schaler seeks to expand our thinking about drug control in a free society by looking at the ethical issues as well as anthropological, sociological, economic, political, and philosophical questions that arise in the debate. This important volume includes essays by William Bennett, Rep. Joseph Biden, President Clinton, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Thomas Szasz, George Will, John Q. Wilson, and many others.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

In previously published essays (1980-1998), an eclectic group of 32 contributors<-->including former drug czar William Bennett, Sen. Joseph Bidden (Dem., Delaware), economist Milton Friedman, and Dr. Robert DuPont (former director, the National Institute on Drug Abuse)<-->make explicit the values driving the failing US war on drugs. They debate whether illegal drugs really cause crime, can be legitimate medicines, the loss- of-control vs. choice nature of addiction, and the constitutionality of court-ordered treatment. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573921961
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/1998
  • Series: Contemporary Issues Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 357
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey A. Schaler (Silver Spring, MD) is currently on the faculty of American University's School of Public Affairs; Johns Hopkins University, and the Institute for Human Studies at George Mason University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the drug policy problem 9
1 Opium, cocaine, and marijuana in American history 17
2 The national drug-control strategy 31
3 Against the legalization of drugs 49
4 Should drugs be legalized? 63
5 Drug legalization : asking for trouble 68
6 Legalizing drugs would sidestep the moral issue 71
7 Legalizing drugs : a "dangerous idea" 73
8 Just say "no!" to proposal to make drug use legal 75
9 Mistakes of the legalizers 77
10 Some among us would seek to surrender 80
11 Should we legalize drugs? : history answers ... no 83
12 Taking drugs seriously 92
13 Don't legalize drugs 109
14 Federal foolishness and marijuana 117
15 Reefer madness - the federal response to California's medical-marijuana law 120
16 Medics in the war on drugs 130
17 The war on drugs as a metaphor in American culture 135
18 Curing the drug-law addiction : the harmful side effects of legal prohibition 155
19 Drugs as property : the right we rejected 181
20 There's no justice in the war on drugs 209
21 Defining "addiction" 215
22 Drugs and free will 235
23 Vietnam veterans three years after Vietnam : How our study changed our view of heroin 249
24 Rat park chronicle 266
25 Cocaine and addictive liability 271
26 Cocaine careers, control and consequences : results from a Canadian study 291
27 Addiction and criminal responsibility 306
28 The First Amendment and drug alcohol treatment programs : to what extent may coerced treatment programs attempt to alter beliefs relating to ultimate concerns and self-concept? 341
29 Thinking about drinking : the power of self-fulfilling prophecies 347
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