Additional points made by previous classes: Some overlap with the current class, but also some interesting, additional ideas and points.

 

CRIMINALIZATION

Rationale:

• Sending right message— to children; model

• Acts as a preventive

• Alternatively: legalized = more use

• Moral message

• Crime would NOT be reduced—drug users committing crimes were already doing so

• Society has vested interest in reducing use: productivity; drain on society

• Legal outlet does not eliminate abuse (e.g., alcohol)

• Drugs are dangerous “products”

 

How work?

• Targeting supply: focusing on drug dealers—to work backward through supply chain; provide subsidies to producing areas to entice alternatives;

• Adding in more treatment/prevention;

• More education as focus of prevention – redirecting funds

• **OR** Add MORE jail time as a preventive;

• Adjust jail based on type of drug offense (better than today’s?)

 

LEGALIZATION

Rationale:

• Would eliminate illegal economy;

• Would bring money into society/gov’t

• Reduce jail population

• Reduce allure to risky/illegal behavior

• Consistent with alcohol/nicotine as “products” – allows better control

• Allows labeling;

• “consumer” more informed

• Target ABUSE, but not necessarily USE—

• Current model creates some of our existing “drug problems”

• Some proportion will use regardless

• Individual has choice and responsibility-- legalizing promotes that self-reliance.

 

How work?

• Focus on behavior under influence; not use per-se—need to still control behavior under influence

• Focus education on ‘safer drug use’

• Focus on cost-benefits/how to be safe.

• Regulated market --

• Initiate education prior to change---

• Transitions: Need to focus heavily before; provide ‘drug bars’ provide means for casual use w/o abuse

• Need to focus on underlying social issues and treatment.

 

ALTERNATIVES

1. decriminalize use, but stricter penalties on production and sale; forced treatment for use per-se (other crimes would still be prosecuted separately); provide alternatives to growers/producers; education/prevention (with savings re., jail)

 

2. alternative to jail—tx. Programs; interventions: broader interventions within society, re., poverty, unemployment.

 

3. improve drug education and more alternatives, e.g., more programming—give  students an idea of what to say “yes” to and things to do; segue into new treatment approaches; differentiated for children v. adults. Strike current laws that restrict federal aid because of drug crimes.

 

4. Set up a prescription system where addicts can continue to get drugs without resorting to illegal behavior.

 

Rationale:

·         cheaper: treatment more cost effective

·         much of the drug “problem” are really symptoms of other issues (poverty, hopelessness, etc.)

·         penalties that make it difficult for people to reform and become productive citizens are counterproductive for society

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.