Examining the Behavioral Assumptions of the National Drug Control Strategy

by Robert J. MacCoun, Jonathan P. Caulkins

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This chapter sketches a framework for drug policy analysis that better reflects existing psychological theory and research. The authors use this framework to predict consequences of policy changes for particular subpopulations, to highlight areas of ignorance where new lines of psychological research might make valuable contributions, and to argue for a new direction in US drug policy. Topics include the effects of drug laws on drug use, sociodemographic considerations, effects of drug laws on drug dealers and the police, and an examination of the use-harm link. We contrast the U.S. use reduction strategy with a total harm reduction strategy.

Originally published in: Drug Policy and Human Nature, 1996, pp. 177-197.

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