Talk:Arguments for and against drug prohibition

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Original research on Sweden[edit]

When Sweden reduced spending on education and rehabilitation in the 1990s, illicit drug use rose[1] but restoring expenditure from 2002 again sharply decreased drug use as student surveys indicate.[2]

References

  1. ^ UNODC "Sweden’s Successful Drug Policy: A Review of the Evidence" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-20. 2007 pp 28-31
  2. ^ UNODC "Sweden’s Successful Drug Policy: A Review of the Evidence" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-20. 2007 pp 5, 26

As we all should know "even with well-sourced material, if you use it out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source, you are engaging in original research." In this case UNODC does not make the the argument, Minphie, a Wikipedia editor, does with the help of statistics in the report. So it is WP:Original research. The first leg, where reduced spending on education and rehabilitation is said to lead to increases in drug use, have no direct support in the sources. (Although the second leg have some support.) Steinberger (talk) 14:26, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Steinberger, there is no original research here. The UNODC report explicitly states that:
"While a general increase in drug abuse in Europe was observed at the time, the deterioration of drug use indicators in Sweden was nevertheless startling. There was no ‘softening’ of Sweden’s drug policies in the 1990s. Therefore, increases in drug abuse cannot be explained by any permissive trends. A number of other factors played a role:
Slowdown in economic growth and resulting budget cuts
GDP growth, which had amounted to 2.5 per cent p.a. over the 1985-1990 period, declined by, on average, 0.9 per cent over the 1991-93 period60. In parallel, the general government balance moved from a surplus to a deficit of 11.3 per cent of GDP by 1993 and the debt/GDP ratio peaked at 72.9 per cent in 1993. These conditions necessitated the implementation of severe economic austerity programmes which involved a review of the country’s generous welfare system. Cuts to welfare spending included reductions in child allowances, pensions, housing subsidies as well as the health sector. Expressed as a percentage of GDP, health expenditure was slashed from levels exceeding 9 per cent of GDP in the early 1980s (one of the highest such levels at the time among industrialized countries) to levels around 8 per cent of GDP in the 1990s. It was Sweden’s drug control system, notably its treatment system for drug addicts, that was heavily affected by these cuts. Therefore, while the basic orientation of Swedish drug policy had not changed, the overall priority of drug control, as reflected in budget allocations, undeniably declined in the 1990s. p 29 Whereas in 1989 there were 19,000 people in treatment centres (for both alcohol and drugs), this number dropped to 13,000 by 1994. Due to the budget cuts, 90 treatment homes had to be closed between 1991 to 1993.61 Cuts also affected outreach work in many municipalities at the beginning of the 1990’s so that outreach work among drug addicts became a rarity."
Also note that Swedish drug policy, which is described in the UNODC document as facing reduced funding in the 90's, represents a continuum which covers "early identification, treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the persons involved" p 14.Minphie (talk) 00:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Ambiguity of Terms[edit]

It seems that within this debate there is an enormous amount of ambiguity regarding terms - in particular 'drugs' and 'addiction' - and that this ambiguity is often deliberate. As an example, the arguments under the "addiction" heading that 'drugs' are a societal burden due to 'addiction,' or that the use of 'drugs' is not a legitimate matter of free choice because of 'addiction,' depend entirely on what is meant by the two terms. If by 'drugs' and 'addiction' someone means dramatically physically addictive substances like crystal meth, then the implication that use of 'drugs' is debilitating and not a matter of choice is quite arguable. However, in the context of the statement, 'drugs' refers to all controlled substances, many of which have been shown to have a much lower chance of 'addiction' than, for example, alcohol (to say nothing of the difference between a dramatic physical addiction and dependency or habituation). I'm not sure if there is much to be done regarding this re the article, but as it is a serious obstacle to clarity I thought I'd mention it in case someone thought of a legitimate way to clarify; as with many other controversial topics, use of ambiguity and semantics to damage the clarity of the discussion is a popular tactic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.158.136.217 (talk) 04:13, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Reinstatement of various sections on effectiveness of prohibitive drug laws[edit]

SallyScot, I am reinstating various sections where the original text contains explicitly more detailed information than the text you replaced it with. For instance, where you have used a DEA quote, their information is not addressing the last 100 years of prohibition as is the original text, but rather speaks of only the last 30 years of that 100 year period. The text that was there previously addresses a. success over the 100 year period, b. reasons for increases in drug use since the 60's, c. as well as the fightback of the 80's AND d. stats on how well that worked. This is far more comprehensive than the DEA quote. Also, a comparison between the percentages of illicit drug use versus licit drugs is crucial to any analysis of the effectiveness of prohibitive drug laws, especially when use of the prohibited drugs is so much lower than the licit drugs. These, of course, are arguments unpalatable to those working to legalize drugs, but they are correct and fully cited, and are crucial to the argument.Minphie (talk) 00:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

The Corner, and The Wire[edit]

I'm quite surprised to see no reference to the extremely heavily researched The_Corner:_A_Year_in_the_Life_of_an_Inner-City_Neighborhood

I've not read it for a while but it definitely left me with the impression that that drug prohibition and the war on drugs was almost completly ineffective in reducing drug usage.

EdwardLane (talk) 11:07, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Overview table summary would help[edit]

It would be good to have a table with a quick overview of the arguments, because it is very hard to process the data in the current format.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 19:39, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Richard Branson and taxation[edit]

According to this link in the guardian a report (in which Richard Branson appears to have been a part) seems to have found in favour of taxation rather than prohibition. EdwardLane (talk) 16:46, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Efficiency[edit]

The section for 'Drug laws are effective' features 12 data points, 2 anecdotes and 3 opinions in 563 words. The section for 'Drug laws are ineffective' features 1 data point, 10 anecdotes and 14 opinions in 1665 words. Personally I am struggling to form an opinion on this matter and this kind of rhetoric is not helping. 46.182.185.40 (talk) 09:16, 1 December 2014 (UTC)Torr

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The BMJ editorial[edit]

The BMJ has recently published an editorial criticizing the war on drugs, citing a few peer reviewed studies to support their claims. Watching editors may be interested in incorporating it into the article. Saturnalia0 (talk) 07:34, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

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