An unflinching analysis of one of the major issues of our time — the shift from criminalization to regulation of recreational drugs.
The “war on drugs” has failed. The cost of trying to control the production, sale, and use of recreational drugs through the criminal law is too high: unjust incarceration, illicit markets, tainted substances, exploited children, and an untaxed industry.
But there is an alternative.
The watchwords for governments controlling the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, junk food, and gambling are “permit but discourage.” All are legal, but harmful consumption is decreased by targeted regulatory strategies.
That same approach should be adopted for drugs. Legalization and regulation can attack the underground economy, drive down excessive use, provide revenue for prevention, treatment, and counselling, and better protect children.
Off the Street: Legalizing Drugs calls for a thoughtful, national discussion of the legalization and regulation of recreational drugs — the “least bad” way forward.
W.A. Bogart is Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Windsor. He is the author/editor of seven books, including Regulating Obesity?: Government, Society, and Questions of Health. He blogs for the Huffington Post and is a frequent media commentator on the regulation of consumption. He lives in Toronto.
Pulling no punches, this is an unvarnished look at illegal drug use and what we should be doing about it. Its recommendations are hard-hitting and thought-provoking. They deserve a close look. Governments, take note.
Off the Street … moves beyond political platitudes and succeeds in addressing the tough issues that are involved … [with] legalizing drugs and the challenges that lie ahead as we head down this path.
The book should be a must-read for legislators, law enforcement personnel, and law students in both Canada and the U.S. Indeed, it is so straight forward and well written that it will also be educational for interested laypersons.
Bogart‘s book is a comprehensive road map to ending the war on drugs, presented with a welcome degree of intelligence and eloquence in a public debate more commonly dominated by emotion and polarized viewpoints.
Bill Bogart … makes his case in a manner that is clear and compelling.… If we’re to make informed decisions after the failed war on drugs, this eye-opening appeal for a change in public policy is for every concerned citizen’s bedside table.