Between Politics and Reason: The Drug Legalization Debate.

Author:Ferrall, Bard R.
Position::Review
 
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ERICH GOODE, BETWEEN POLITICS AND REASON: THE DRUG LEGALIZATION DEBATE (NY: St. Martin's Press, 1997) 187 pp.

The author presents the various positions in the debate and distinguishes empirically resolvable issues from those which are differences over values. Considering individually the various substances usually categorized as "drugs", the author summarizes, for the general reader, the pharmacological effects of the substances, and presents what is known about the extent of their use. He describes the legal sanctions currently applied against the different types of drugs, and discusses the comparative advantages and disadvantages of various proposals for legalization or decriminalization. In examining different possible models of drug control, the author stressed the need to acquire as much data as possible to quantify the harms caused by each drug. Different types of drugs may vary widely as to both the extent and the type of harm they cause to the individual user. The harm to society caused by drug use may be determined...

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