Talk:Zero tolerance

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In Canada, an 8 yr. old boy named Billy Barnes was suspended from his Elementary School for pointing a breaded chicken finger at a classmate and shouting "Bang!". Possibly. But this is a contribution from User:Auric the Rad. Wetman 17:20, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I changed the article to add a source reference. --Yamla 18:15, 2004 Dec 30 (UTC)

Two links don't work: Eck, John E.; Maguire, Edward R. Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act Gc9580 (talk) 04:08, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


This article needs a disambiguation for Zero Tolerance (game), and IMDB [3] lists four movies with the same title.

Yea SEE: INTOLERANCE ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Criticism or Information?[edit]

I think this Article just states the downside of this ideology. It is proven that this ideology has success fighting "urban decay". This article reminds me more of an anti-campaign to zero tolerance.

I look forward to your edits balancing out this article. You may have a hard time finding actual proof rather than just correlation about zero tolerance, but I wish you luck. --Yamla 13:28, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
I agree. The article is quite blatantly one-sided. It needs to be rewriten to be unbiased. I've added the NPOV tag untul then. - DNewhall
Thanks. --Yamla 19:40, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Yamla, do you have sources for the examples you added? If so, please include them. Any example that is not sourced should be removed.--TheJeffMiller 03:34, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I'm not the original source of these. I only put them back in, I didn't add them originally. Nevertheless, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment that they should be sourced or removed. I believe there is already sufficient sourcing for the Canadian incident with the chicken finger (see earlier discussion), though perhaps not on the article page itself. I'll see what I can find about the other instances. --Yamla 13:31, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
At the risk of seeming snarky, if you think they "should be sourced or removed", why did you restore them?--TheJeffMiller 12:26, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I came to this article after reading out how NY benefited from Zero Tolerance, and I didn't see any reference to that in this article, does seem to be propaganda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Neutral as nitric acid[edit]

The lack of citation, the inlining of opinion quotes, the general lack of substance; that the audience might be generally sympathetic to the point of view would appear to be the only reason this article didn't already have a neutrality tag. If clear sources can't be given then large parts of this should be excised.

Further, two hundred examples of wrongdoing don't add any more than the current twenty of so. ZT is more than just "some idiot overreacted to something". Air your grievances on you livejournals, childs. Thumper 00:46, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Alleged bias[edit]

Thumper, if you think this article is biased, then provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of zero tolerance. If the article is biased, such evidence should be very easy to produce. Otherwise, the article isn't biased and the tag will have to be removed. Will three days be enough time for you to produce the evidence?

The utilitarian policy assumption is that inflexibility is a deterrent because, no matter how or why the rule was broken, the fact that the rule was broken is the basis for the imposition of the penalty. This is intended as a behaviour modification strategy, i.e. because those at risk know that it may operate unfairly, they may be induced to take even unreasonable steps to avoid breaking the rule. This is a standard policy in rule- and law-based systems around the world on "offences" as minor as traffic violations to major health and safety legislation for the protection of employees, those living nearby and the environment. So merely listing particular examples alleged to be unfair in the school system is unhelpful. As in all other systems, the school system is predicated on the exploitation of its inherent unfairness. So why is there no "balancing" list of those people who resisted breaking the rules because of the threat of the known unfairness? Alternatively, why is Wiki acting as the advocate of zero tolerance by highlighting these examples of unfairness? Surely, the mass publicising of these examples of unfairness serves the schools' purpose by frightening students into conformity. An objective and NPOV assessment might be considered a reassurance to students that, out of the millions of student acts and omissions each and every school day, only an infinitesimal percentage prove to be unfairly penalised. David91 04:02, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You've made a good start. However, we still need someone to provide research evidence that supports zero tolerance. There is empirical research evidence that it's ineffective.
The issue isn't really whether ZT is effective. The issue is that the article is written not from a perspective of explaining what ZT is, but rather one of ensuring that the reader comes away disproving of it by making the article little more than a list of controversial punishments. Chris Cunningham 19:48, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand my intention. I am not going to write anything on the North American school system because I know nothing about it. I simply pointed out that a mere list of examples without a proper context is POV. Since you may have greater expertise on the subject than I, you should consider whether there is any empirical evidence at all, whichever POV you espouse. If there is nothing more an anecdotal evidence on either side, you should very clearly state that fact and consider eliminating all opinion statements. As it is, all you have are self-serving examples. Simply transplanting a point from the talk page to the article is not going to save this page on the school issue. You should first address the nature of the school discipline system in North America (since all your examples currently come from that part of the world). Who drafts these rules? What policies do they seek to enforce? Who reviews them before implementation? Who administers the rules once in force? What safeguards by way of an appeal, if any, are put in place? etc. etc. etc. Then you should consider how many times students are penalised under these rule systems and identify what proportion of those so penalised may be considered more than unfairly treated. Then you should consider whether the example made of those particular students had any undue effect on the overall discipline system in the given school or school district. Did the student body rise up in revolt like the French students currently attacking government policy on employment, and threaten to burn the school down unless the student's penalty was remitted? Or did everyone put their heads down and take extra care not to break the same rule? If so, was that a bad thing? It is not for an anonymous user to challenge Thumper or anyone else to produce evidence. If you want to defend this page, you should produce evidence and completely restructure the piece on schools to avoid it from being considered POV. To compare systems, you might wish to consider this month's House of Lords ruling on an English school's refusal to allow a female student to wear a jilbab as an expression of her religious beliefs. Every country has laws about rules and they way they work. If they work unfairly, these rules can be challenged in court. A balanced article would consider what remedies are available in North America and the extent to which the students actually penalised have exercised their right to a judicial review of their penalties. If there are no such cases, an inference might be that no North American court would hold the rules or the penalties imposed unfair. David91 17:46, 28 March 2006 (UTC)


Please do not remove the {unreferenced} template or the [fact] requests until you have complied with Wikipedia:Cite sources. Every assertion currently unreferenced should either be verified by a "proper" citation or deleted. David91 19:14, 28 March 2006 (UTC)


Dear David- I have checked the wikipedia reference guidance information and can't figure out in what way my references are not proper. If you will please please be so kind as provide me that information it would be most helpful. Many thanks.David Justin 19:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I am pleased and relieved that you are interested in learning how to write a balanced encyclopedia entry. In the entry above, I did take the trouble to set out the issues you would need to address to make the piece more objective. At present, you are doing no more than reporting news which is biased and not encyclopedic. It is biased in the sense that it wishes to frame the reader's reaction as "Wow! That is unfair!" Instead of reporting a factual context, e.g. that the student had been a disciplinary problem for years, the episode is made to appear notable by deliberately suppressing all information that might enable the reader to reach a contrary opinion. I agree that some references have now appeared. Unfortunately, they are not obviously acceptable. For example, "Scaringi, D. "Zero Tolerance Needed for Safe Schools." St. Petersburg (FL) Times, June 24, 2001." seems to be a newspaper opinion piece. As such, it does not match the requirement for a verifiable source. To be a verifiable source, the publication you cite should be of a proper standard. All that you have done is to find a journalist who holds the same opinion that you do. I will leave you to remove the offending "sources". To be NPOV, you have to produce information on all sides of the debate, and you have to be able to cite verifiable authority. If you cannot cite verifiable authority, you are not supposed to put the information in. I was subjected to major criticism for simply entering content from memory. I ended up having to send for photocopies of journal articles to justify the entry. Pending that, my information did not go into the article space. It is a tough rule, but we are aiming to produce something of quality here. David91 02:50, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


Supporters of zero tolerance policies claim that such policies are required to create an appropriate environment (Scaringi, 2001; Noguera, 1995). They also point to examples of persons in authority providing lax discipline in the past, with a resulting breakdown in order (for example, in a school environment)(Scaringi, 2001). Some supporters also argue that the mass publicising of examples of unfairness serves the schools' purpose by frightening students into conformity. They point to the millions of student acts and omissions each and every school day, only an infinitesimal percentage of which prove to be unfairly penalised.(Noguera, 1995)

What do these assertions mean? These "policies are required to create an appropriate environment" Who requires them? Appropriate to whom and for what? Why do "these supporters" refer to past laxness when their concern is current indiscipline. Were the rules always in place and not enforced, or did "these supporters" rewrite the rules? Then you quote me but attribute the quote to Noguera in 1995. You should not invent citations. I could go on but I do not want to appear gratuitously unkind. In all seriousness, it would be better to throw all this content away and start again with a blank screen to build up a balanced and verifiable piece. David91 03:01, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I didn't write this piece but tried to make it an acceptable article by deleting many of the examples of ZT abuse and by referencing content. It appears that a lot of people don't like the content but aren't willing to do any work to improve it; it's much easier to criticize than to create.David Justin 03:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
If I had the expertise, I would rewrite this element, but I know nothing about the North American education system. If it was about the European system, I would already have rewritten the element. It is not a case of either liking or disliking the content. NPOPV requires editors to present all relevant views fairly. The objection to the schools element is that, as currently configured, it is POV. Rather than simply deleting it, I will move the material to its own page, and leave you and any others who come along to deal with matters there. David91 04:28, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

David91- Thank you for implementing a creative solution to the zero tolerance page problem. You've made a significant contribution which I (and I'm sure others) greatly appreciate.David Justin 17:43, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Freakonomics challenged[edit]

As I am the fan of Freakonomics, I am not happy to let you know that part mentioned described in "Is the zero tolerance policy efficient?" part was repeatedly challenged by other researchers. While it is interesting idea, for the sake of balance arguments of some challengers should be at least referenced, if this part doe not deserve to be removed (as it addresses only very partial case). Unfortunately I am now in internet cafe ... but somebody with access to academic literature might have a look into it, please. Ruziklan 20:41, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Recently-added History section[edit]

User SummerWithMorons recently added a History section, copied below. I removed it, with edit summary "(remove history/paternity section - no such act as 'Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act', section is POV or unclear)". SummerWithMorons undid my reversion, with edit summary "(Undid revision by CliffC the material is properly sourced. if you have problems with that, it's more useful to discuss it on talk)".

Here is the section, followed by my comments. Please consider removing this section permanently.


The paternity of zero telerance belongs to the program started with the approvation of the Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act, in New Jersey in 1973.[1][2][3][4] This inspired Wilson and Kelling to wrote the famous article on the "broken window" (1982).[5] The programa had no significant effect on crime rates with continued to grow in the years of application. Instead, a crime rate drop happened 20 years later, in the mid 90, thanks to an economic improvement and to demographic reasons. But the program had a positive impact on the citizens, whcih had a ficticius impression of safety imporvement. The program has then described a public relation policy instead of a sefaty one.[1][2]

First, an apology, I was wrong when I said "no such act as 'Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act'". I misremembered the title and when I Googled for what I remembered, I found 525 instances of "Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Program" and missed the four instances of "Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act".

I think the second citation should be omitted because the articles it points to are in Italian and will not be accessible to most readers of the English wikipedia.

Describing the new section as "unclear" in my edit summary was a way of saying that the English and spelling weren't very good, no insult intended and your English is certainly better than my Italian. I did not try to improve the section because I don't agree with what I think you are saying.

The first two sentences seem to be saying that the Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act brought about the Broken Windows article, which in turn brought about the policy of Zero Tolerance. I don't see either of these connections stated in the five citations given for these two sentences.

The last four sentences, starting with "The program had no significant effect..." would need to be prefaced with a phrase like "According to...", to make it clear that this is someone's opinion, not a statement of fact. Even with such a change, these four sentences don't fit this article, because they seem to be talking about the effects of either the Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Act, or the Broken Windows theory – not about the Zero Tolerance enforcement policy that is the subject of the article. If they are meant to question the Effectiveness of the zero tolerance policy, that is a subject already covered, in a section by that exact name, near the end of the article.

--CliffC 15:01, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

The detailed current version has plenty of qualitative sources, I think they say it all.--SummerWithMorons (talk) 22:56, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Totally biased utter scrap![edit]

This article, as of now is just pro-drugs junk. Rudy Guliani used "zero tolerance" in NY to make the city liveable. It worked, period. No proper mention of that. This article is a shame of Wikipedia, as it stands now. (talk) 20:41, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Do you have evidence for this claim, or is it just regurgitated media opinion? --Jaded-view (talk) 03:38, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Freakanomics Section[edit]

The argument of neutrality notwithstanding, this does not seem to be the proper article to discuss the impact of abortion on crime. This is supposed to be, as I read it, a viewpoint of the legal definition and ramification of a zero-tolerance policy. Bringing in errant material about abortion is little more than an inflammatory diatribe and doesn't add anything to the article. It would work in something about crime rates, or abortion as a supporting argument, but it doesn't work here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brinlong (talkcontribs) 15:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Is it OK that some references are leading to payed sites? I thought that Wikipedia should be accessible to everyone, is it for links as well? (talk) 15:08, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, No.--SummerWithMorons (talk) 19:56, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

Distinct but related to the problem of neutrality is the presence of weasel words such as "According to scholars." Such an introductory phrase adds nothing substantive to an assertion; it might even make readers feel as though they were being snowed. The article would be improved by their removal. BrianTung (talk) 21:27, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


... In accordance with the Schengen Borders Code, this is permissible, as long as cars are only stopped when a suspicion of smuggling has been established. Before 1995 it was possible to make random controls.[talk 1] The ambitions to implement zero tolerance and follow-up of abusers has varied over the years but the present trend seems to be to apply zero tolerance for illegal drugs more consistently.[talk 2] The change of government in Sweden 2006 did not change this.[talk 3]

References (talk copies)

  1. ^ Cf. Article 21 of the Schengen Borders Code, which allows for such checks “insofar as the exercise of those powers does not have an effect equivalent to border checks”, as further defined in that Article.
  2. ^ Eva Brännmark Detective Superintendent Law Enforcement – the Swedish Model, 2007
  3. ^ The Swedish action plan on narcotic drugs 2006–2010

The problem with the first source is that it is the regulation text itself, which is treacherous and improper for furthering the view that the Schengen-cooperation and EU-membership have a recognized (negative) influence on the drug situation in Sweden when read in context. The wikipedian Dala11a (talk · contribs) have a possible COI on the EU-issue, being a member of the Green Party (Sweden) with its strong sentiment against EU - the argument that EU and Schengen memberships would flood Sweden with drugs is used by them. But as far as I know, there is no conclusive evidence or consensus on that question.

Source two is a speech by a policemen (not a scientist) and not an analysis of implementation consistency. The whole sentence lacks support in the source it has - its not dealing with that explicit subject - and the analysis it furthers probably comes from Dala11a.

The last source is a official government paper, the goal (or sub-goals) it stats is the same as the one of the previous government. However, both the opposition and some political scientist have, in the Swedish drug policy debate, stated that the present government has changed the course of drug policy towards a more ideological view (yet again) - something the former tried to change. This is not reflected and it should. Wikipedia should not further the official rhetoric if the truth is contested. Steinberger (talk) 22:06, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Stenberger goes back to misuse of tags again. The first claim is false, it is a well known fact in Sweden that the number of people employed by the Swedish Customs was radically reduced as a result of the membership in EU and Schengen. We are talking about thousands of people. One of the goals with EU is reduced controls at the border. How can anybody deny that? The second claim is twisting the source, the source is written by a police officer on very high level in the Swedish police force in here duty and of course reflecting the official policy. The third claim is even more strange. He admits that the source literally support the text in Wikipedia. The present government has not changed any laws of importance concerning drugs. So what is the problem with the text? Dala11a (talk) 00:18, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
1) It's not the fact that Schengen lowers the borders that is in doubt, but thats something for the Schengen article if its not proved to be affecting the drug influx. 2) I'll say it again The source is not an analysis of implementation consistency and she does not state that "nowadays, the drug laws in applied more consistency" or anything like that. If I have missed it, please paste an excerpt. In Björn Fries, the former drug czars words "the police does not prioritize party drug users" (Swedish National Television "Debatt" post-broadcast internet bonus). 3) In other words, the drug policy in the 21th centruty has been turning towards implementation of science and knowledge to a much higher degree, something recognized by scientists themselves (although the picture is mixed). What has happened is that the ideological anti-drug organization has gain renewed influence.
Now, I will delete a lot of your shameless speculation and source misuse. Steinberger (talk) 06:05, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

"It must be noted..."[edit]

The relevance on the "it must be noted" sentences in the "zero tolerance and narcotics"-section are not obvious and it have to be either expanded so that the relevance (for this article) is made clear or the whole parts discarded. Why is for example the maximum of twelve years inprisonment for gross drug offences in Netherlands, a country with what all experts are saying is a very tolerant drug policy where police ignores most single drug offences and the prosecutors can waive any crime if its in the interest of the society? Or why do the rights of drug users in Sweden have to be stressed, why is that relevant? Both seem to be somewhat off-topic and confuse more then they clarify - at least in my opinion. Steinberger (talk) 05:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

1) The problem is that you entered a quote with the word 'liberal'. What means liberal in this case? Netherlands drug policy have two faces.
  • A reputation of being liberal
  • The other face; Netherlands spend more money per capita on drug law enforcement than Sweden or any other country in EU. A big part of that is directed against opium, heroin, amphetamines and cocaine. The last Country overview from EMCDDA reports 20 769 drug offences in Netherlands. 52% is hard drug crimes. [4] The number has increased, it was in 12616 in 1998. Netherlands probably put more people in prison for crimes related to opium, heroin, amphetamines and cocaine than Sweden. I don't know the exact comparable numbers for Sweden but I know that about 2000 person per year are convicted to jail for drug crimes (all types of drugs) in Sweden per year. The word 'liberal' need a complement, otherwise is the text unbalanced.
2) The second problem is the you entered an unclear quote from Thomas Goldberg. Is true that it is dangerous seek help for drug problems in Sweden or is just a rumor spread by some people? The truth is that if you are not guilty of a serious crimes is the risk for imprisonment zero. If you are guilty of other smaller crimes can a court send you to a about drug treatment program if you ask for it. But the quote give the impression that there exist a real risk for imprisonment if you seek help just for drug problems. That is not true. Wikipedia is not the place for spreading rumors. So the quote from Goldberg needs a complement, otherwise is the text unbalanced.Dala11a (talk) 19:00, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
The Duch drug policy is 'tolerant' and 'liberal'; although not against drug trafficking (for the sake of European relations) and unaccepted public nuisance stemming from drug use and drug related theft and violence (for the sake of public opinion) as you points out (they are putting a effort against gross cannabis offenders too); but the high costs rather implies a high commitment against gross offences and not intolerance against drug use. So, the Duch policy is the opposite to zero tolerance. Do you imply otherwise? I'd say the part on the 12 year sentence go, its confusing and as it represents your very original analysis. On the 'unclear quote' from Goldberg, I suggest you read the book as that part has nothing to do with treatment and the situation there. However, elsewhere in the book it becomes clear that the new paper informing drug users on their rights against the municipal social services and when in treatment is welcomed. It's now clear to me how you misinterpreted the quote; I'll say delete on your unclear and unrelated "rights of the drug users" bit. Steinberger (talk) 20:24, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Your reply is no reply att all. How can anybody who is not an expert on both Swedish and Dutch drug laws and drug policy read the first quote and and understand that 'liberal' in this case is equal to "not against drug trafficking (for the sake of European relations) and unaccepted public nuisance stemming from drug use and drug related theft and violence (for the sake of public opinion) as you points out (they are putting a effort against gross cannabis offenders too)" and convict more people for hard drug crimes than Sweden?
And how can anybody with only the second quote understand that Golgberg welcome "the new paper informing drug users on their rights against the municipal social services and when in treatment", an activity that is a part of the present policy that nobody can call repression. You claim that facts about municipal social services etc don't fit in some theoretical model of what Zero tolerance 'is'. But the truth is that the Swedish action plan includes many different kinds of actions that you can't derivate from somebodies theoretical model about Zero tolerance. The Swedish Zero tolerance is not like the U.S. War on drugs. If no text explaining the what the words 'liberal' and 'repressive' actually means in the Dutch and Swedish case is allowed I suggest that both quotes are deleted in this article. Dala11a (talk) 23:49, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
The words liberal and repressive have no meaning other then in relation to something else, the Dutch policy is very repressive if you are a everything-should-be-legalized-neo-liberal and the Swedish policy is a dream of liberalism if you come from say Singapore. The words is defined from the examples and from what perspective you look at. In this case, its not me who use the words liberal or repressive, its the EMCDDA. It is obvious that they speak of them in a european context and what they mean.
On "how can anybody with only the second quote understand that Golgberg welcome 'the new paper informing drug users on their rights against the municipal social services and when in treatment'"; well you can't and that's because the in-article section don't have anything to do with the rightless-status some drug addicts were given when confronted with dictatorial municipals and treatment centers. Really, it where you who stated to emphasis the rights of the drug user in relation to the sentence - "It have been argued that repressive policies impossibly could deal with problem drug use: The troubled adolescences that have evolved a negative self image, and is the main recruition base for problem drug use, could be even more tempted by drugs if the sentiment against them is strong and the policies repressive; pursuing their negative self image by using them." Why did you do that? Steinberger (talk) 12:20, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

1) User Steinberger "deleted some sections that were unsouced or equipped with extreamly bad sources" In that case is the normal to ask for more sources. User Steinberger know the sources. I can give some examples. The EMCDDA country overview 2007 for Netherlands [5]and Sweden, the Swedish Governments Action plan against drugs, etc...User Steinberger know them all. 2)How can the official webb page for ABB one of Sweden biggest private employers be called an "extremly bad source" for big private employers drug policy?Dala11a (talk) 17:54, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

On the "it must be noted"-thing: I really can't see that the EMCDDA nor the Swedish Action Plan states that the Netherlands imprisons "about the same number of people ... for drug crimes as Sweden" and that it is a relevant fact in discussing 'zero tolerance'; it is simply your original synthesis yet again. Why should it be noted? And the the ABB page on application for internship is a very bad source when it is used to generalize over the policies on alcohol and drugs of "big private employers". Steinberger (talk) 18:17, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
The last statistic for number of imprisoned for drug crimes i Netherlands say 4392 per year, [6] (EMCDDA:National report 2007: Netherlands. ).
For Sweden is statics published by The Swedish Prison and Probation Service in Basic Facts, 2007: “What type of crimes was primarily committed by persons sentenced to prison in 2006? Crime %, Theft 15.5%, Drugs/goods trafficking 21,6% ..." Total number of imprisoned 2006 ...10,428..[7]( Basic facts, 2007 page 20-21). 21,6% of 10 428= 2252 person imprisoned with Drugs/goods trafficking as major crime.
If you recalculate to prevalence per 100 000 citizens you find that the prevalence for imprisonment for drug crimes is about 2,5 per 100 000 i Sweden and 2,7 in Netherlands. There are some differences in definitions, but it anyhow reasonable to state that the prevalence for imprisonment for drug crimes is on the same level.Dala11a (talk) 08:36, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
This article is about 'zero tolerance' and by 'zero tolerance' you mean 'zero tolerance' against less severe crimes like graffiti, vandalism and own drug use. Do you think 'others' might believe that the 'liberal' and 'tolerant' Netherlands might ignore to prosecute gross drug offenses? Or why is it relevant to emphasize that 'when it comes to drug offenses, the imprisonment rate is about the same...'? Steinberger (talk) 11:59, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Equipped with extremely bad sources[edit]

The last changes by user give me the impression that user Steinberger is a group, an organisation that do not follow the same policy. User Steinberger stated earlerer stated that he "deleted some sections that were unsouced or equipped with extreamly bad sources". And now he enter changes with "equipped with extremely bad sources" First: Zero tolerance is not the same as War on drugs as the source claim. Sweden´s drug policy is Zero tolerance, but Sweden has no drug war. Second: If a big majority of the members of the United Nations did not want to use the term harm reduction in the declaration from the conference about drugs in Wien in 2009, for example because the concept has been kidnapped for dubious aims, is this not the same as that these state has implemented zero tolerance for drugs. User Steinberger delete several[citation needed] tags and other parts of the text that had a good source and replaced them with an "extremely bad source" that try to make a mess of the concept zero tolerance. And a quote from The Economist, is The Economist a good source for a comparison between the drug use in Sweden and Norway? The information in the "source" is bias, Norway have a higher general prevalence for drug use than Sweden Dala11a (talk) 13:04, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

They are as good as your sources on this subject, the UN-article does not reefer to Sweden's policy as one of zero tolerance for starters. Moreover zero tolerance is most often seen as the opposite of harm reduction, see for example [8]. So one could argue that those countries that oppose that issue most often adhere to zero tolerance in regards to drugs. One of the articles you deleted explicit states that the US and Russia officially upholds zero tolerance policies against drugs. And that the Economist is a unreliable source is just laughable. However, I have included a definition, slightly rewritten from a qualified peer-reviewed source instead of any incomplete list of countries adhering to the policies. In the future, do not arbitrarily pick countries to fit your thesis of low imprisonment rates and low prevalence rates without proper sources that this also is the larger tendency among zero tolerance countries. It is not only WP:OR and WP:SYN, it is POV also. Steinberger (talk) 16:37, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
The text "Japan, Sweden and Singapore [citation needed] have among others apply a zero tolerance-approach against illicit drugs. Japan and Sweden at the same time, in contrast to the U.S. has comparatively few people in prison and low overall prevalence of drugs and no drug war" is true and you know it. We had for example a discussion with a third option about a the situation in Sweden before on the talk page for Drug policy of Sweden. The result of the third option was that I got support for my interpretation. The text you deleted had sources before you deleted them. So why do you pretend that you do not know that the text (starting with the word Japan) is true.Dala11a (talk) 01:59, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Don't try, there was a assortment of sources that you saw together to a original synthesis. Seriously, find a article from a journal or a book that explicitly states that Japan and Sweden or some other country have 1) not only an zero tolerance approach against drugs but also that 2) that approach leads not only to lower drug prevalence but also keeps the imprisonment rates low. Steinberger (talk) 05:55, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Since user Steinberger do not accept any relevant text about the concept zero tolerance for drugs except his own text, and his text is a just a quote that, what i know, don´t fit with any country in the world, is it time for ask for a third opinion here.Dala11a (talk) 20:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
You may very well do so. However, I have a hard time seeing any third opinion giving you a carte blanche as I can confidently say that your last batch of sources did convey what you wrote in the article. Steinberger (talk) 20:25, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I do not see my text as last version of the text. For example it can bee improved by adding text about specific countries with reference to one or more sources for each one. So a correct answer from you is to point at exactly what part of the text is not fully covered by the list of sources. Dala11a (talk) 21:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

In future please make sure your link from the 3rd opinion page goes directly to the section of the talk page where there is a dispute. I originally could not find this dispute and posted a request for you to identify the dispute. This sounds silly, but creating a subsection for a third opinion can go a long way towards a third opinion taking place.

This is a 3rd opinion, an outside opinion meant to help. It should in no way be taken as authoritative and is simply meant to informally help to resolve a dispute.

Outside the context of this article I have read the The Economist piece in question. The Economist does have a libertarian bias when it comes to drugs. However, this does not prevent them from being used as a factual source. Their recent article on legalization does provide a good description of how a zero tolerance policy can be different from a war on drugs. As Dala11a argues, a war on drugs includes the funding of war, crop spraying etc, as well as the prison-industrial complex. In contrast, zero-tolerance can simply mean what it says: zero-tolerance for drug use. In the context of Sweden this means that they do not tolerate drug use, but they also do not imprison lots of people for it either. The term can also include the US which prolifically imprisons people for drug use and fights drug wars. It is in this context that Steinberger contrasts zero tolerance with harm reduction. It is in the terms association with US drug policy that the term is very much related to the drug wars. The way I see this dispute is that you are both right about the term and that you have to incorporate that into a nuanced definition and treatment of the term within the article.

From the talk page it is unclear to me how the different sources have been used to make a specific statement about the effects of different policies. This dialog between editors sharing different perspectives is what makes up the article. I am not going to wade into this, except to offer a caution on all sources. As I have already said, The Economist has a pro-legalization bias. To the same degree, I would point out that the UN has an anti-legalization bias which also tends towards support of the drug war. Used carefully, they can both be legitimate sources, but they must be used carefully. I would encourage both parties to delve into academic journal articles on drug policy.

I hope this helps. I'll check back in on the article and can be reached on my talk page, but I have taken down the 3O notice. Happy editing! Wikipediatoperfection (talk) 06:40, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you! However, the section have evolved quite a bit since Dala11a requested a third opinion so I am afraid that your input will be of a more general intrest. But, If you whant to help? I have a problem with the Bejerot quote in the present version of the text, the quote that is to repute what I wrote earlier, eg: "varies as we know the drugs in toxicity, adverse effects and dependence power." Well, I think that quote is badly out of its context, even in a typical way when it comes to Dala11a. This time, the source is in Swedish making it even harder for bystanders to understand so I have have translate a longer section to try make my point:
“In all seriousness I sincerely mean that, from a biological standpoint, there is no difference between coffee dependence, nicotine dependence, alcohol dependence, prescription drug dependence or illicit drug dependence. There are all of the same learned-in nature, despite the reasons that lead into contact with drugs and to the consumption thereof. However, as we know pleasurable substances varies in toxicity, adverse effects and dependence power. In American literature one can read about 'semi-addictive drugs', substances that usually only give a mild dependence. Usually counted among those those substances are chocolate, licorice, ordinary suger and candy."
What should one do with such a quote? It doesn't really repute my sourced claim that zero tolerance-advocates sees all illicit drugs and all illicit drug use as equally harmful (to society). Steinberger (talk) 12:45, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
My claim on The Economist was that it's area of expertise as it name say, Financial news, not drug statistics. I entered better sources that contradicted the text in the Economist, but Steinberger deleted them all. I can agree with user Stenberger that my translation is possible to improve so I have change it to "...varies as we know the enjoyment means extremely in toxicity, adverse effects and dependence power." If Steinberger do not understand the words "varies extremely" is it his problem. Bejerots view was that addiction was a learned behavior but that is not same that he saw all drugs as equally harmful. I have also entered a better source to text that shows the the definition of Zero tolerance he advocates was picked from a text advocating for harm-reduction and that is not a neutral source for what advocates for Zero tolerance state. You do not quote president Putin when you want to present what president of the US state. Dala11a (talk) 20:44, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Steinberger last vanadlism, is to delete, everything on Sweden. Dala11a (talk) 21:10, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
The Economist is about more than financial news, it is mainly about international politics. The standards of accuracy is also very high. However, I can be without the Economist...
However, then I whan't to be without that Bejerot quote - that different "pleasurable substances" differ in adverse effects and addictiveness from each other. It is very far fetched. From the context, it is clear that he compares chocolate with heroin for god sake! Elsewhere in the book, there is a whole chapter where the "safe cannabis myth" is "debunked" for proving the other side...
Well, you can't put prime minister Putin's words in Obama's mouth. But you can definitely reefer to the analysis provided by a Russian political scientist when discussing American politics. That however, is not even the case now. The articles are not "advocating" harm reduction. Neither is a opinion pieces. But one is a review of harm reduction and the alternatives. / Edit conflict: Yes, I deleted the official goal of Sweden. And the quote from Bejerot. But that is not vandalism. Steinberger (talk) 21:17, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
So if your definition of an advocate for Zero tolerance of drugs is true, why have I never even heard about that person who have this view. I know many people who support Zero tolerance for drugs an non advocate for the definition you want to have. It is the main stream opinion in the town I live. I why can you not at least give a name of one who advocate for the opinion in the text you want to have. Dala11a (talk) 22:02, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Nils Bejerot, as an example. And that you are unknowing of many things are no news to me. The exact quote from the ISW-article is "The principle of zero tolerance insists on an absolute dichotomy between no use and any use whatsoever. This all-or-none theory equates all drug use as being equally harmful and fails to distinguish between different degrees of harmful use." That does not imply that ZT-ers in fact think that all illicit drug use are equally harmful, only that law should treat all drugs and all use as if they were. Do you have any other and better way of putting it? I don't mind. Steinberger (talk) 22:29, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
You said you had moved on from a discussion of the definitions, but you seem to be still focused on this topic. I would encourage both of you to read Wikipedia's good faith and civility pages. I also suggust you both post your proposed version of the section or changes to the section as I am having an extremely hard time telling what either of you want the article to look like. It would help other editors if you both wrote out your definitions on this page so that other editors could better discuss them. Dala11a, what do you think of a definition along the lines I proposed? (talk) 04:44, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
You stated "ZT-ers in fact think that all illicit drug use are equally harmful, only that law should treat all drugs and all use as if they were." That is simply not true. You can compare with traffic laws. If the speed limit is 50 is both 65 and 90 an offence, but that do not mean that the law see 65 and 90 as equally dangerous. And in what country treat the courts use of heroin as equal to all other drugs? Dala11a (talk) 08:03, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Well it is true. Not for harsher drug offenses, but for minor like personal use (the type of offenses prosicuted under a zero tolerance regime). And Sweden is one example of this. For example, if the police found you incoherent on a bench, you will be brought to the station to leave a urine sample. And regardless of what illicit drug they find trances of, you will get a fine. Secondly, I have never heard about zero tolerance on speeding - as in your example. Steinberger (talk) 11:22, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you will probably get a fine for a minor offence, but in Swedish law is a fine often not equal to a the same fixed amount. A fine means something from 30 to 150 * (an amount depending of your income, minimum 1000 SEK) = minimum about 330$, but can be more. Mandatory treatment is also a possible alternative. The law state that the court shall look on the whole picture, compare with the Drug courts in the US. The text "that law should treat all drugs and all use as if they were" equally harmful is a clear over simplification. Dala11a (talk) 20:22, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
You are perfectly right in the non-fixed sum of the fine. It is sort of the point with a day-fine. There are praxises set by the supreme court of Sweden for a single minor drug offenses and the courts stick to that in most cases. They do seldom "look at the whole picture", most often cases of minor drug offenses does not even go to court. The other options the court have to its disposal, those you state, are most often used for more complex cases - say as a part of the sentence for a burglar stealing stuff to afford to fund his drug abuse. I contend your assessment that the equal harm bit is a oversimplification. However, presume you are right. How would you rephrase the sentences: "A consistence of zero tolerance is the absolute dichotomy between any use and no use, equating all illicit drugs and all forms of use as undesirable and harmful to society. In this zero tolerance-advocates are contrasting to viewpoints of those who don't hold all drugs as equally harmful, and who would like to distinguish between occasional drug use and problem drug use."
Because, really. The contrary, the practice of being tolerant, implies distinguishing different use and different drugs on the merits of risk and harm. Steinberger (talk) 21:16, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Recently published news from Sweden[9] is that the Swedish Deputy Prosecutor-General, together with Johan Hartelius, also known as the co-author of Nils Bejerot, compiled a manual that will spread in the Swedish judicial system. The template is a recommendation on new classified products, such as opiates and synthetic drugs tramadol Oxykodon, Dragon-fly and DOC, but have also updated the older drugs already classed drugs. The hazard is divided into six different levels obtained from eleven different criteria, such as dependence, poisoning, physical and mental injuries, and violence risk.Dala11a (talk) 20:59, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
It is a updated version of a memorandum already circulated.[10] However, it is irrelevant for minor drug offenses. Steinberger (talk) 21:46, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
It is very relevant, it shows that they "don't hold all drugs as equally harmful". So once again, who is this anonymous supporter of zero tolerance that "hold all drugs as equally harmful", the statement has still no adequate source. Dala11a (talk) 05:09, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
My sources, more or less, states that fact explicitly. My sources is a article in a peer reviewed journal and a entry from a acclaimed reference book. So, what do you mean with "no adequate source"? You, in turn, have not presented ANY source that in fact states that, under a zero tolerance regime, one differentiates between different illicit drugs on the basis of harm. I have even given you a verdict from the Swedish supreme court who explicitly affirmed that the lawmakers did not want to differentiate between drugs, that personal use (and possession for personal use) is illegal in itself and separate from what drugs are taken (the drug involved are something more relevant in gross offenses not officially tolerated under any jurisdiction). I have also encouraged you to rephrase what I have written in order to rub away any minor misunderstandings pending unclear language, but no. The only thing you have done, is telling me wrong. And this without anything I consider substantial to back up your claims. You also include, factually correct but of topic and irrelevant statements as they apply to areas separate from what people usually mean when talking about zero tolerance and drugs.
This might be done in good faith, but I really doubt that. I believe that you have a problem with decoupling yourself from the ideas you hold true and take on a objective and neutral perspective on this issue. You are probably a proponent of zero tolerance, and you are not unknowing about the different harm different drugs inflict. Therefor zero tolerance can not imply an equalization of illicit drug harm. Well, in fact, that seems true from what I know. You know, zero tolerance is zero tolerance against minor criminality. Zero tolerance on drugs is discouraging all drug use. If there was a differentiation over drugs, some drugs would with the same logic be discouraged less and that is not the case under a zero tolerance regime. And really, the different classes of harm used by the Swedish attorneys office, or rather the information on the normal dose also present in that memorandum more important for more severe offenses. It would be unreasonable if 100 g of cannabis would be treated as 100 g of heroin. It would also be unreasonable if 100 g of amphetamine mixed with flour (so that if would cloth the blood if injected) would be treated equal to 100 g of amphetamine mixed with something solvable and relatively safe. The thresholds for offenses of the normal degree and for gross offenses differ with the drug involved, but all-enforcement under zero tolerance bring cases of use and/or too minor possession where there is no differentiation. And that particular fact is relevant, because in a tolerant approach that would be different. Steinberger (talk) 14:21, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


Your are misreading the Swedish supreme court. The court stated in NJA 2005 s.318 ”Given that use of narcotics normally is a summary imposition crime is there in practice no room for any nuance of the sentence to the circumstances of the individual case”. The case in the verdict was that the prosecuted person had used amphetamine once. The punishment was by the Supreme Court set to the minimum level, 30 day-fines. Your own private opinion is probably that it not tolerant that others also received the 30 day-fines for smoking cannabis, but 30 day-fines for using amphetamine once do not show that the Swedish Supreme Court see all drug use as equally harmful. The Supreme Court also clearly state in the verdict that they see some drug use are more harmful than other drug use. In the verdict is for example mentioned that a Swedish courts have an another option than day-fines in grave cases of drug abuse, treatment. Mandatory treatment is in Swedish law an option in grave cases of drug abuse and it is also used. Your statement that the verdict in 2005 makes a memo about the specific risk associated with different dugs distributed in 2009 by the Deputy Prosecutor-General not relevant is an opinion that hardly is shared by her. Why do she distribute a the memo to the public prosecutors if it can have no impact? Don't you think that she reads verdicts from the Swedish Supreme Court and knows about NJA 2005 s318?Dala11a (talk) 20:28, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I have read the verdict many times and no, I have not misread it. However, I have never said that the court says all drugs are equally harmful. And in the future, give me something substantial instead of your speculation on what opinion I and some attorney have on disparate issues. Steinberger (talk) 20:32, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
So, we agree on that Swedish Supreme Court do not se all use of drugs as equally harmfull or ?Dala11a (talk) 05:46, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Maybe. The court says that all personal drug use is equally illegal (regardless of what drug is involved). But not that all drugs are equally harmful. Steinberger (talk) 14:09, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Source: "Rowe and Bendersky, 2002"[edit]

This isn't a source at all: "Rowe and Bendersky, 2002"

where did they publish what??

I found "Rowe, M. and Bendersky, C. (2003). Workplace Justice, Zero Tolerance and Zero Barriers. In T. Kochan and D. Lipsky, (Eds.), Negotiations and Change: From the workplace to society: 117-140, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press)," on but it says 2003 instead of 2002 (talk) 21:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I tried looking for "Rowe and Bendersky, 2002", and couldn't find anything, is "Rowe, M. and Bendersky, C. (2003)..." the correct reference?

"Discrimination by State Run Monopoly"[edit]

Section seems to need work ... no obvious discrimination is cited, not sure how it relates to zero tolerance (does the writer mean that the Swedes have zero tolerance of alcohol, zero tolerance of mislabeling or zero tolerance of people breaching their bizarre state monopoly of alcohol sales?) and I'm pretty sure the words "some people say" is a red flag on Wikipedia. Also, I think alcohol qualifies as narcotic rather than psychoactive but that may be an artificial distinction. (talk) 12:18, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Unexplained cleanup tag[edit]

For reasons that were not explained or discussed on this talk page, someone added a cleanup template to this article in August 2016. Why is this article "nominated to be checked for its neutrality?" Jarble (talk) 02:31, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I think that the external links section should be reviewed to see which remain relevant, with those being integrated into the article as references and the rest removed. That section appears to be a vestige of a very early version of this article. 2601:401:503:62B0:D846:9D01:11B9:EC30 (talk) 17:53, 1 October 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Norman Dennis, George Erdos (2005) Cultures and Crimes, cap. 13 Dealing with Diversity: Libertarianism and Multiculturalism pp.169-183 ISBN 1-903 386-38-1
  2. ^ a b Fabrizio Tonello il manifesto 31 August 2007, p.5 [1] [2] (in Italian)
  4. ^
  5. ^ [lxxxvi]