Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results

Mark A. R. Kleiman

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Drug-taking and drug control are alike; both are often done to excess. “Against Excess” shows how we can limit the damage done by drugs and the damage done by drug policies. Mark Kleiman cuts through the rhetoric of the war on drugs and the legalization debate to discuss the practical options available for the control of the entire range of psychoactive substances, offering detailed prescriptions for managing alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and heroin. “Against Excess” is organized around 3 questions: why do some people who can manage the rest of their lives get into trouble with drugs; how do their problems harm their families and their communities; what can governments do about it? Kleiman argues that we need to develop a middle course between prohibition and complete legal availability: a new category of “grudging toleration” that would apply to alcohol and to some of the currently prohibited drugs. He also argues that, as a practical matter, drug programs – enforcement, persuasion, and helping and controlling problem users – may be as important as the laws.

Review by Harvard Plan For Drugs

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