Thoughts on Drug Policy, Public Health, and Crime: More Support for Decriminalization

How to Cite

Husak, D. (2018). Thoughts on Drug Policy, Public Health, and Crime: More Support for Decriminalization. Bergen Journal of Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, 6(1), 1-19.


In this paper I describe the nature of my interest in drug policy; discuss questions about whether and why drugs pose a public health problem; present some empirical results that bear on whether drug proscriptions might be justified because of their causal role in contributing to crime; hazard a few observations about how a society should deal with drug problems; and comment on the recent opiate epidemic plaguing much of the United States. My overall conclusion is that a good rationale for drug prohibitions has yet to be found, and the liberal alternative to criminalization, which recommends that drug use be treated as a public health problem, is problematic as well---even though it certainly would be an improvement on the status quo.

Copyright (c) 2018 Douglas Husak

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

Bergen Open Access Publishing