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December 1991 (Volume 69)
Mark H. Moore
Milbank Memorial Fund
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Are criminal laws against the sale and use of drugs such as heroin and cocaine helpful in maintaining a liberal community? Answering this question is partly a matter of political philosophy, but the answer also depends on judgments about practical effects. Although it is clear that drug laws tend to worsen the conduct and condition of individuals who continue to use drugs, and strain the institutions of the criminal justice system, it is also plausible that these same laws succeed in reducing overall levels of drug use by suppressing the supply and helping sustain the community norm that disapproves of drug use.
Author(s): Mark H. Moore
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Volume 69, Issue 4 (pages 529–560) Published in 1991
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The Milbank Quarterly’s multidisciplinary approach and commitment to applying the best empirical research to practical policymaking offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.