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Return of the Dangerous Classes: Drug Prohibition and Policy Politics

NCJ Number
D R Gordon
Date Published
327 pages
This book examines the impact the Federal Government's continuing war on drugs has had on American society as a whole.
The author argues that harsh sanctions, implemented at great social and economic cost, have failed to control the most dangerous forms of illicit drug use. Case studies are used to examine some current trends in drug-related policymaking, ranging from the citizen initiative recriminalizing possession of marijuana in Alaska, to a Michigan State law requiring life sentences without parole for offenders convicted of possession with intent to distribute 650 grams of heroin or cocaine, and Congressional deliberations on imposition of the death penalty for major drug trafficking. The book argues that these policies serve political interests other than the reduction of drug use; they pave a dangerous road by excluding the most dangerous drugs, generating violence in communities already burdened by poverty, and distorting social policy debate.


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