Douglas N. Husak & Peter De Marneffe
The Legalization of drugs
Cambridge University Press, 2006, 364.177
In The Legalization of drugs two prominent law philosophers present different sides of the debate over the legalization of drugs. Douglas Husak argues in favor of drug decriminalization, by clarifying the meaning of crucial terms, such as legalize, decriminalize, and drugs; and by identifying the standards by which alternative drug policies should be assessed. He critically examines the reasons typically offered in favor of our current approach and explains why decriminalization is preferable. Peter de Marneffe argues against drug legalization, demonstrating why drug prohibition, especially the prohibition of heroin, is necessary to protect young people from self-destructive drug use. If the empirical assumptions of this argument are sound, he reasons, drug prohibition is perfectly compatible with our rights to liberty.
An excerpt from The Legalization of drugs outlining Douglas Husak's argument, as well as the introduction and first chapter of his earlier book Drugs and Rights are available on-line.
The Legalization of drugs is a resource for the RSA project: RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy.