An Argument in Favor of Decriminalization

25 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2015

See all articles by Kurt L. Schmoke

Kurt L. Schmoke

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: 1990


This Article discusses the reasons why a policy of prohibition has not only failed to solve the drug abuse problem, but has made the problem worse. In response to such failings, this Article recommends, as an alternative to a drug-policy based on law enforcement, a measured and carefully implemented program of drug decriminalization based on the public health system. An alternate name for this policy is "medicalization."

Keywords: addiction, addicts, drugs, illegal behavior, criminal law, drug abuse, drug policies, law enforcement, medical care, medical treatment, public health, drug dealers, medicalization,

JEL Classification: I18, H51, H59, K14, K19, K39, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Schmoke, Kurt L., An Argument in Favor of Decriminalization (1990). Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, Spring 1990, pp. 501-525, Available at SSRN:

Kurt L. Schmoke (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
410.837.4866 (Phone)
410.837.4875 (Fax)

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