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Drug-Policy Debate

July 28, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 26
Is there too much emphasis on law enforcement?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Plastic bags containing 172,000 Ecstasy pills with an estimated street value of $4.5 million were intercepted in April by based U.S. Customs agents in Boston. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/William Plowman)
Plastic bags containing 172,000 Ecstasy pills with an estimated street value of $4.5 million were intercepted in April by based U.S. Customs agents in Boston. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/William Plowman)

The federal government spends billions fighting drugs, yet illegal drug use remains high. Critics say the answer to the drug problem is not more law enforcement but policies that focus on reducing the harm that results from both drug use and the efforts to stop it. But drug-policy officials charge that most “harm reduction” proposals are little more than veiled attempts to legalize dangerous substances. They say a better approach is the growing system of drug courts, which require addicted drug offenders to undergo treatment. Meanwhile, states are taking innovative approaches to the drug problem. Voters in several states have approved initiatives allowing the medical use of marijuana, and a proposal to divert some drug offenders from prison to treatment programs will be on this fall's ballot in California.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Drug Abuse and Trafficking
May 02, 2014  Treating Addiction
Jun. 03, 2011  Teen Drug Use
Jun. 12, 2009  Legalizing MarijuanaUpdated
Dec. 12, 2008  Mexico's Drug War
Feb. 09, 2007  Combating Addiction
Jun. 02, 2006  War on Drugs
Jul. 15, 2005  Methamphetamine
Jul. 28, 2000  Drug-Policy Debate
Nov. 20, 1998  Drug Testing
Jan. 06, 1995  Treating Addiction
Mar. 19, 1993  War on Drugs
Feb. 23, 1990  Does the War on Drugs Need a New Strategy?
May 20, 1988  The Business of Illicit Drugs
Jan. 23, 1987  Experimental Drugs
Feb. 08, 1985  The Fight Against Drug Smuggling
Aug. 27, 1982  Cocaine: Drug of the Eighties
Jun. 11, 1982  Prescription-Drug Abuse
Jan. 23, 1976  Changing U.S. Drug Policy
Dec. 13, 1972  World Drug Traffic
May 27, 1970  Heroin Addiction
Jan. 27, 1965  Psychotoxic Drugs
Jul. 18, 1962  Narcotics Addiction: Punishment or Treatment
Sep. 05, 1956  Control of Drug Addiction
Mar. 28, 1951  Drug Addiction
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Crime and Law Enforcement
Drug Abuse
Substance Abuse
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