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Rethinking America’s Illegal Drug Policy

Rethinking America’s Illegal Drug Policy

Chapter:
(p.214) (p.215) 5 Rethinking America’s Illegal Drug Policy
Source:
Controlling Crime
Author(s):
John J. Donohue IIIBenjamin EwingDavid Peloquin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226115139.003.0006

This chapter begins with an overview of America's illegal drug problem, sketching consumption patterns, current policy, and the social costs of illegal drugs under America's basic regime of criminalization. It turns to the particular cases of marijuana and cocaine, analyzing three potential regimes—criminalization, depenalization, and legalization. The chapter also addresses the two most significant sources of social costs from cocaine—crime and incarceration—and includes a commentary at the end.

Keywords:   illegal drug policy, drug abuse, drug use, marijuana, cocaine, criminalization, crime, incarceration

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