Monday, August 10, 2009

Dope on the table

So the US is a world leader in incarceration rates. Drug convictions aren't the only reason, but they're a big reason.

The Portugese, it seems are on to something. Anyone want to convince me why decriminilisation couldn't work in the US too?

1 comment:

sbeath said...

Much as I agree with decriminalization (and think we should apply that to prostitution too), there are some issues with the numbers that are being used to support the conclusions.

1. The number of schoolchildren who have ever tried drugs has fallen, but schoolchildren are not necessarily representative of the total population, since they're generally legal minors and subject to surveillance throughout the school day.

2. Changes in HIV infections and drug deaths aren't good indicators unless compared to another country, because of all the other stuff that was going on: first, improvements in technology should have decreased both (people on ARVs are less infective for HIV, we've recently developed much better overdose treatment); second, education about both issues has changed enough that more people may have been reached.

Again, I'm a fan of the conclusions reached, it's just that the data presented don't support them :(