Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Drug prohibition and enforcement aim to reduce the extent of drug use and the associated harms. The evidence that they succeed is heavily contested. However it is clear that prohibition and enforcement have many consequences other than the intended ones. Many of these negative consequences play a major role in the discussion of drug policy, particularly in face of weak evidence that the principal component of current policy in most countries, namely the enforcement of prohibition, does indeed much reduce drug use.

This report is a first effort to provide systematic analysis of the unintended consequences as a group. It distinguishes between those consequences that arise from prohibition per se, such as the lack of quality control, and those that are a function of the intensity and characteristics of enforcement. It identifies seven mechanisms that can generate unintended consequences: behavioural responses of participants (users, dealers and producers), behavioural responses of non-participants, market forces, programme characteristics, programme management, the inevitable effects of intended consequences and technological adaptation. The report relates this analysis to a recent discussion of the same phenomenon by the Executive Director of UNODC, showing the complementarity of the two approaches for thinking about consequences. This analysis has implications both for policy making and for assessment of policies.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Definitions

  • Chapter Three

    A Taxonomy of Mechanisms

  • Chapter Four

    Displacement

  • Chapter Five

    Positive Unintended Consequences

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions

Research conducted by

This study has been produced by the Trimbos Institute and RAND with the financial support of the Commission of the European Communities. The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.