The Failure of American Drug Policies Article Review by Nicky

A review of the article "Common Sense Drug Policy," by Ethan A. Nadelmann.
# 145697 | 1,270 words | 1 source | APA | 2010 | US

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The paper provides statistics on the U.S. federal budget and incarceration rates that provide evidence for Ethan A. Nadelmann's assertion in his article "Common Sense Drug Policy," that U.S. federal and state drug policies have failed miserably. The paper discusses Nadelmann's position on looking for drug control models which appear to have worked in foreign nations, and his belief that any drug control initiative which relies upon supply reduction is futile. The paper concludes with the opinion of Nadelmann that the most economical and sensible drug control policy would include an end to incarceration for drug possession, an increase in rehabilitation and drug abuse treatment programs, and strictly-controlled legalization procedures.

From the Paper:

"Although illicit drug use among young Americans between the ages of sixteen and nineteen years of age declined by more than fifty percent during the Reagan Administration, no one had the foresight to realize how devastating an effect a specific new type of drug would have on American society, namely, crack cocaine, which by the 1990's had "reached epidemic proportions in American cities, largely driven by prohibitionist economics and morals," (1998, p. 112) advocated by certain members of the federal government. Between 1980 and 1997, the federal budget for drug control in the U.S. rose from about $1 billion dollars to more than $16 billion dollars and on any given day in the 1980's, some 50,000 Americans were in prison for violating either state or federal drug laws. By the late 1990's, this number had increased to more than 400,000, being the result of "drug policy over-reliance on criminal justice solutions" based upon abstinence programs and out-patient treatment (1998, p. 112)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Nadelmann, Ethan A. (Jan.--Feb. 1998). Common sense drug policy. Foreign Affairs.Vol. 77 no. 1, 111-126.

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

The Failure of American Drug Policies (2010, November 23) Retrieved April 01, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Failure of American Drug Policies" 23 November 2010. Web. 01 April. 2023. <>