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Part IV


The Special Committee on Drugs and the Law has spent the better part of a decade examining this country's "drug problem" and the mechanisms utilized to manage it, principally a federal and state system of criminal proscription.

In recent years, the criminal penalties for possession and distribution of proscribed drugs have increased, with mandatory sentences being imposed at both the state and federal levels. The prison population in the United States has more than doubled in the past ten years, largely as the result of these prohibitionist laws. The scarce resources of the federal and state judiciary have been increasingly devoted to drug cases. Despite all of these efforts, the drug war rages on.

The Committee recognizes the urgent and compelling need to make additional resources available for education and treatment. We believe that even at increased levels, however, treatment and education are not enough to control this country's drug problem. The Committee opposes the present prohibitionist system and recommends the opening of a public dialog regarding new approaches to drug policy, including legalization and regulation.

Kathy Hellenbrand Rocklen, Chair Ann Robertson, Secretary
Hon. Harold Baer Jr. Nancy A. Breslow Kenneth A. Brown Ellen M. Corcella Edward John Davis Eugene R. Dougherty John H. Doyle, III Virginia M. Giddens Stephen L. Kass Charles Edward Knapp Daniel Markewich Eleanor Jackson Piel James Warwick Rayhill Chester B. Salomon Felice K. Shea

A Wiser Course: Ending Drug Prohibition
A Report of The Special Committee on Drugs and the Law
of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York
June 14, 1994