Against Excess: Drug Policy For Results

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9780465000869: Against Excess: Drug Policy For Results
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Drug-taking and drug control are alike; both are often done to excess. "Against Excess" shows how we can limit the damage done by drugs and the damage done by drug policies. Mark Kleiman cuts through the rhetoric of the war on drugs and the legalization debate to discuss the practical options available for the control of the entire range of psychoactive substances, offering detailed prescriptions for managing alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and heroin. "Against Excess" is organized around 3 questions: why do some people who can manage the rest of their lives get into trouble with drugs; how do their problems harm their families and their communities; what can governments do about it? Kleiman argues that we need to develop a middle course between prohibition and complete legal availability: a new category of "grudging toleration" that would apply to alcohol and to some of the currently prohibited drugs. He also argues that, as a practical matter, drug programs - enforcement, persuasion, and helping and controlling problem users - may be as important as the laws.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In this witty and comprehensive treatise we follow Kleiman, lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, as he makes his way through ancient opium dens, Colombian coca fields, liquor stores, house parties and DEA offices. An urbane, informed observer, the author takes note of drug-trade economics, inconsistencies of government eradication efforts and frailties of human psychology and physiology in a surprisingly entertaining yet lucid analysis of drug addiction and its consequences for individuals and society. Kleiman makes a case for a middle road between prohibition and permissiveness, i.e., for taxes, regulations and personal-use licenses that might avoid the pitfalls of criminalization. He has many interesting suggestions: the deterrent value of a $1 tax on drinks and fining juveniles for smoking. And we hear from experts like Sholom Aleichem, who quips, "An innkeeper loves a drunkard, but not for a son-in-law."
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Basic Books (1993)
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