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Art Small on Drugs


Consider loosening enforcement of marijuana laws

The state can consider loosening its enforcement of its marijuana laws as some states have done or are considering doing. California is said to have saved $100 million a year in enforcement costs by relaxing its laws. A recent article on marijuana laws observed: "PROHIBITION supposedly divided America into three parts: wets, drys and hypocrites. Cannabis is now doing the same. One in three adult Americans admits to having tried the herb." In short, I can find no quick fixes. There is no silver bullet.
Source: Governor's study on Crime and Punishment in Iowa Dec 31, 2002

Drug treatment more effective than incarceration

More emphasis must be placed on treatment programs, both within the institutions and within the communities. Treatment and "coerced abstinence" substance abuse programs can work, despite arguments to the contrary. True, the success rate and the effect on recidivism is not what we would like it to be. But the solid evidence shows that treatment is cost effective. Dollars put into treatment pay a good return. "Treatment is 15 to 17 times more effective in reducing crime than incarceration."
Source: Governor's study on Crime and Punishment in Iowa Dec 31, 2002

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