There is plenty of debate on the topic of drug prohibition versus legalization, though unfortunately it isn't taking place among people with the ability to directly do something about it. To make it easier to formulate a persuasive argument in regards to drug legalization it would be nice to have an index of articles, links, studies, videos, etc. on this topic so research time can be cut down. Anything relevant to the topic should be good, from direct policy proposals to studies on the sociology of drug use. It would be preferable to try and keep only the most pertinent information for this topic though. Please post any good sources of information or commentary on this topic in this thread so it is easily accessible. Try to be specific with your citations rather than just giving a broad reference for people to dig through. When feasible, it would be a good idea to upload any pdfs to the archive, especially if they are not accessible to all members such as articles in many peer-reviewed journals. I'll start it off with a basic list, to be added to in the future: Cato Institute Policy Reports A Society of Suspects: The War on Drugs and Civil Liberties (In Archive: A Society of Suspects: The War on Drugs and Civil Liberties ) Thinking About Drug Legalization (In Archive: Thinking About Drug Legalization) Alcohol Prohibition Was A Failure The Drug War vs. Land Reform In Peru Perilous Panacea: The Military In The Drug War Institute For Policy Studies A 93 page report split into several pdfs. Can be found here. The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/ Whats Wrong With The Drug War? A basic overview of the problems related to drug prohibition and a look at the alternative of legalization. From the Drug Policy Alliance. Found here. Cognitive Liberty Threats to Cognitive Liberty: Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War. - Looks at future potential use of new drugs that limit capacity to experience effects of current illicit substances in the drug war. Transform After the War on Drugs - Options for Control - "A major new report examining the key themes in the drug policy reform debate, detailing how legal regulation of drug markets will operate, and providing a roadmap and time line for reform." Attitudes to Drug Policy and Drug Laws: A Review of the International Evidence - This paper reviews the available evidence about people’s attitudes and views toward national and international drug policy. The first section assesses the main conceptual and methodological problems exhibited by surveys and studies in this domain, including definitions and terminology, sampling issues, and methods of data collection and analysis. A conceptual model of drug policy is described, based on five general approaches which vary along the repressive-liberal dimension, with further distinctions within each approach. The International Journal of Drug Policy Critiques of harm reduction, morality and the promise of human rights - This commentary critically reviews recent criticisms of harm reduction which argue that ideological limitations and a reluctance to express moral commitments are major factors preventing it from developing its full potential. It argues that, rather than a paradigm which is failing to live up to underlying ideals of freedom and human rights, harm reduction is better viewed as an assemblage of practices and goals with varied outcomes. Distorted? A Quantitative Exploration of Drug Fatality Reports - It has long been accepted that newspaper reporting of drug issues may be prone to amplification. However, to date there has been little empirical confirmation of this view. This paper aims to examine the representativeness of newspaper reports of deaths attributed to illegal drug use. It is concluded from these findings that the news media can present an unrepresentative and somewhat distorted view of illegal drug deaths. These biases may have serious implications for public opinion, social policy and drug education. Drug use as a ‘practice of the self’: is there any place for an ‘ethics of moderation’ in contemporary drug policy? - This paper offers a series of critical interrogations of the principles and practice of harm minimisation. This critique draws from Michel Foucault’s account of ethics, pleasure and moderation in pointing to some significant gaps and conceptual problems within Australia’s National Drug Strategy. Drugs as a Human Right - This article proposes a new Article 31 to the Universal declaration of Human Rights: ‘‘Everyone has the right to use psychotropic substances of one’s own choice’’. To declare the freedom to use drugs a new human right is not self-evident from the point of view of liberal thinking, which provides space for individual freedom as well as for established custom and tradition. Drugs in the UN system: The Unwritten History of the 1998 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs - The ‘‘international community’’ presented an apparent unanimity in its endorsement of prohibitive drug control at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 1998. The reality is that there is a longstanding conflict within the UN system between nations wanting to maintain the prohibition regime and those hoping for a more pragmatic approach. The depth and course of this conflict can be traced through a myriad of documents and records of meetings published by the UN, revealing a previously unwritten history of events leading to the 1998 UNGASS meeting. These show the extent to which the hardliners have gone to maintain the status quo through rhetoric, denial, manipulation, selective presentation, misrepresentation and suppression of evidence, selective use of experts, threats to funding, and purging ‘‘defeatists’’ from the UN system. The UN has committed itself to a drug free world by 2008, even though the problem is worsening faster than its favoured remedy can be applied to solve it. However, some reformers and pragmatists have been challenging the system in their domestic policies. This may encourage a more realistic approach to illicit drugs and help to introduce more rational functioning to the UN system’s drug control organisations. Emerging policy contradictions between the United Nations drug control system and the core values of the United Nations - This paper argues that the image of the UN as a benevolent organization is a crucial factor in the functioning of the global drug prohibition regime. It contends, however, that from certain normative perspectives, particularly that of harm reduction, it is possible to identify the emergence of policy contradictions between what can be broadly defined as the United Nations drug control system and the core values of the UN as laid out in the Charter and other key instruments from which the UN derives its image of benevolence. Getting What You Pay For? The Ethics of Selective Publication - Examines the problem of research funding and its limiting impact on academic freedom and creative inquiry. Global Drug Prohibition: Its Uses and Crises - In the 20th century, political leaders and governments throughout the world supported drug prohibition and constructed a global drug prohibition system. They did so because of the influence of the USA and its allies and the UN. This article suggests they also did so because drug prohibition, drug demonisation and anti-drug campaigns were very useful*/especially to politicians, the police, the military, and the media. Now in the 21st century, global drug prohibition is facing several overlapping crises. The growth of the harm reduction movement has increasingly pushed drug policies in many countries from the more criminalized end of the drug prohibition continuum to the more regulated and tolerant end. Further, a serious, reputable and ever growing opposition to punitive drug policies has begun to challenge global drug prohibition itself. Finally, drug prohibition appears to be unable to prevent the increasing cultivation, use, and normalization of cannabis throughout the world. Because of these currently unstoppable developments, global drug prohibition is losing some of its invisibility and political invulnerability. Librarians And Other Subversives: Truth Can Be A Casualty Of Drug Wars, Too - Editorial examining freedom of information and the ability of existing social institutions to disseminate that information within the context of the drug war. Media constructions of illegal drugs, users, and sellers: a closer look at Traffic - This essay examines how the entertainment media constructs illegal drugs, users, and sellers. As well, it explores how television and movie producers are awarded for depicting ‘correct’ images of illegal drugs, users and sellers. The second half of the paper discusses the British made for television mini-series ‘Traffik’, and the later U.S. production ‘Traffic’. Six ‘war on drugs’ myths depicted in the U.S. film ‘Traffic’ are examined with a focus on race, class, and gender issues. Minimising research censorship by government funders - Response to Milton paper, one of several here. Topic is evident in title. Nationalism, immigrants and attitudes towards drugs - A number of writers on drug issues have commented upon the link between attitudes towards drugs and attitudes towards immigrants and ‘the foreign’. This paper summarises some of this literature and goes on to provide recent survey evidence of this link. In a discussion section, it is suggested that the ‘banal’ but deep-rooted nationalistic fears which underpin international and national drug policies need to be challenged. While researchers and policy-makers can try to ‘normalise’ attitudes towards drug-taking, ultimately it is drug-takers themselves who must take a political stance. Over-regulation or legitimate control? - Deals with issue of research limitations and censorship in academic community. Public health or human rights: what comes first? - Respect for human rights is a defining feature of harm reduction, which is commonly characterised as a public health-based movement. The importance it attaches to ‘user-friendliness’ and the view that drug users have a right to the same respect and dignity that other users of health and social care services receive is largely undisputed among harm reductionists. Within harm reduction there is also a developing discourse identifying drug use itself as a human right; nudging harm reduction towards being a rights based movement. This allows us to describe two philosophies of harm reduction: a ‘weak rights’ version, in which people are entitled to good treatment and a ‘strong rights’ version that additionally recognises a basic right to use drugs. Shifting the main purposes of drug control: from suppression to regulation of use: Reduction of risks as the new focus for drug policy - I believe that the original aims of (almost full) prohibition of substance use, as it is applied according to the NY Single Convention of 1961, are unattainable. Instead, I want to present some arguments and ways of looking at drug use that support a far reaching revision of the current aims of drug control. Drug policy goals should shift, from suppression of use to regulation of use. In this article I will present drug use data collected in Amsterdam that in my view support such a shift. Sociopharmacology of Drug Use: Initial Thoughts - Psychopharmacological approaches to drug use focus on psychological traits of drug users and chemical traits of drugs. Whether through medicalisation or demonisation, this defines users as the problem, which ignores socioeconomic and other issues that make individuals, neighbourhoods, and population groups vulnerable to harmful drug use. We discuss a concept of ‘sociopharmacology of drug use’ that locates drug use in broader contexts. The public health and social impacts of drug market enforcement: A review of the evidence - The primary response to the harms associated with illicit injection drug use in most settings has involved intensifying law enforcement in an effort to limit the supply and use of drugs. Policing approaches have been increasingly applied within illicit drug markets since the 1980s despite limited scientific confirmation of their efficacy. On the contrary, a growing body of research indicates that these approaches have substantial potential to produce harmful health and social impacts, including disrupting the provision of health care to injection drug users (IDU), increasing risk behaviour associated with infectious disease transmission and overdose, and exposing previously unaffected communities to the harms associated illicit with drug use. There are, however, alternatives to traditional targeted enforcement approaches that may have substantially less potential for negative health and social consequences and greater potential for net community benefit. Users, using, used: A beginner’s guide to deconstructing drugs discourse - Using deconstructive tools from contemporary social-political theory, we show how competing understandings of heroin use may mask a different kind of political contest. Exploring the discursive intertwining of people, practices and substances, we challenge the appropriateness of figuring different proposals to govern heroin use as a contest between science and politics, or of health-centred versus crime-centred strategies. We ask after the consequences of figuring criminal and medical arenas as rival frameworks for governing heroin use, and point to the perils associated with the apportionment of blame and victimhood therein. The broader aim underpinning our work is to locate and unpick political resistance to progressive harm minimisation strategies. Journal of Drug Issues An alternative to contemporary forms of drugs control - This article analyzes the main concepts utilized in non-repressive drug control models. After discussing three models of cannabis control used in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, the authors present an alternative model that is based on the German foodstuffs law. The impact of drug enforcement on crime: An investigation of the opportunity cost of police resources - The conventional wisdom among the law enforcement community is that drug use causes crime and that stringent enforcement of drug laws is an effective tool to combat property and violent crime. Previous research by some of these authors found that a sharp increase in drug enforcement in Florida during 1984-1989 resulted in a reallocation of police resources which reduced the effectiveness of property crime enforcement and increased the property crime rate. The Orgins and Future of the Dutch Approach Towards Drugs - This paper considers the roots of the Dutch approach towards drugs. It argues that the idiosyncratic nature of Dutch drug policies can be explained by taking into account the peculiar evolution of the Netherlands' political institutions. The distinctive character of Dutch policies is explained through the concept ofgedogen. Gedogen refers to the practice of discriminatory enforcement. Gedogen can be defined as a regulatory system of organized toleration and targeted repression. Only those illegalities that are actually considered to cause social problems are targeted for repression. As such, the policy differs markedly from orthodox prohibitionist policy approaches. Policies towards ecstasy and cannabis are discussed to illustrate how gedogen works in practice. While it is argued that gedogen has functioned well for a number of years, doubts are expressed about the extent to which the Netherlands can be expected to continue to play the role of pioneer with respect to drug policies. After a revival of conservative politics, the country now seems ill equipped to develop alternative drug policies. The Drugs/Violence Nexus: A Tripartite Conceptual Framework - Drugs and violence are seen as being related in three possible ways: the psychopharmacological, the economically compulsive, and the systemic. Each of these models must be viewed, in a theoretical sense, as "ideal types," i.e., as hypothetically concrete ". . . devices intended to institute comparisons as precise as the stage of one's theory and the precision of one's instruments allow." (Martindale, 1959:58- 59). In fact, it will be shown below that there can be overlap between the three models. However, this overlap does not detract from the heuristic value of the tripartite conceptual framework. The context of drug policy: An economic interpretation - Economics can be used to analyze public sector decision making because individuals make these decisions within a framework of incentives and constraints that are a product of individual preferences and institutional structure. Considering the emphasis on law enforcement in U.S. drug policy in this context, this paper presents an analysis of the incentives and constraints affecting drug policy that explains a reluctance to change the policy even in the face of considerable evidence that some reforms could be cost effective. The Great American War on Drugs: Another Failure of Tough-Guy Management - The increasingly obvious failure of the "tough-guy" approach that the US has adopted to cope with the national drug problem is discussed. Alternative policy is discussed. Essential Factors of a Rational Policy on Intoxicant Use - We have outlined the elements of a social policy that could deal effectively with the drug problem. These elements include (1) treating drug abusers in areas other than just their drug abuse; (2) providing more accurate information in drug education programs; (3) providing a series of symbolic but genuine gestures that indicate our society is willing to make real changes; and (4) coordinating these measures with more pragmatic and swift law enforcement. This policy would not end drug use. Nothing can do that. Neither would it be a surrender nor just a repetition of an old policy that has not worked. Thats it for now. If anyone knows of pertinent articles they would like to see in the file archive please let me know.