The Limits of the Czar's Ukase

Drug Policy at the Local Level

by John Haaga, Peter Reuter

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As concern about drug trafficking and abuse has risen, enormous political attention has been focused on the need for a national strategy. The authors argue that a focus on national strategy is misplaced since it ignores the local nature of drug problems. They conclude that state and local decisionmakers should be given latitude to make and implement drug control policy. Prevention and early intervention, treatment, and street-level law enforcement appear to be the most promising solutions — solutions that are best implemented by local institutions such as schools, health care providers under contract, and local police.

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