M8D1: The Future of Drug Policy

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As you have learned, the criminal justice system has employed many different ways to address the issue of drug abuse and misuse over time. From strict enforcement, to diversion, to referrals and substance abuse treatment. Some critics of existing policy have argued for the decriminalization of drugs, and for all drugs to be legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Harm reduction strategies are also being employed as public health approaches to drug use.

This activity addresses module outcome 4. Upon completion of this activity, you will be able to:

  • MO4: Defend the role the criminal justice system should play in drug use prevention or treatment. (CO4)

Question: Consider everything you have learned about drugs and drug policy in the United States, including the different approaches to mitigate the existing drug problem. Draw from the various ideas and strategies that have been employed or suggested, and provide your own recommendation as to the future of drug policy in the United States. Include citations as needed.

Respond to the following:

  • What do you believe ought to be the future of drug policy in the United States?
  • If you could change one policy or approach concerning how we address drug abuse in this country, what would it be?

NB: Course text Levinthal, C. F. (2019). Drugs, society, and criminal justice (5th ed.).


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