Should Recreational Drug Use Be Criminalised?

Douglas Husak, a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University in the US, combines hard fact and rigorous moral reasoning in his cogent analysis of the drug law debate in his excellent book Legalize This! The case for decriminalising drugs. In this two part series (from Background Briefings section of website), I summarise his arguments to help the reader decide how they feel about the central question of the justice of drug laws. While Husak argues about the situation in the US, much of what is said is relevant to the UK and to many other countries.

Husak points out that we need to ask the right question when looking at drug policy. He emphasises that the onus has always been on those who want to change drug laws to justify why there should be changes. In fact, the onus should be on those who support current policy to justify their position. This rarely happens.

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Journeys Into and Out of Heroin Addiction, Part 2

Focuses on living with addiction and covers such topics as relationships, changes in personality and lifestyle, hustling, crime and prison, impact on health, and treatment (5,900 words).

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‘On Pharma, Corruption, and Psychiatric Drugs’ by Peter Gøtzsche

“My studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.” Peter Gøtzsche, MD;  Co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration

As shown on Mad in America.

The Road from Crime – Extended Preview

Excellent preview, I’m heading to watch the full film.

‘What can we learn from those former prisoners who have successfully “desisted” from criminal behaviour or “gone straight?”

The exit at the prison gate often appears to be a revolving door with nearly 60 per cent of released prisoners re-offending within two years of their release. Prisons and probation departments have, almost literally, tried everything in efforts to rehabilitate offenders over the past century, but the results have been uniformly bleak leading many to conclude that “nothing works.”

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‘Meditation transforms roughest San Francisco schools’ by David Kirp

628x471A cool article from SF Gate.

‘At first glance, Quiet Time – a stress reduction strategy used in several San Francisco middle and high schools, as well as in scattered schools around the Bay Area – looks like something out of the om-chanting 1960s. Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can’t sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds. I’ve spent lots of time in urban schools and have never seen anything like it.

This practice – meditation rebranded – deserves serious attention from parents and policymakers. An impressive array of studies shows that integrating meditation into a school’s daily routine can markedly improve the lives of students. If San Francisco schools Superintendent Richard Carranza has his way, Quiet Time could well spread citywide.

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