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Moral Analysis of Drug Addiction

The creation of a national approach to drug policy has become as much of a controversy as drugs themselves. There is no doubt that the illicit use of controlled substances in the United States represents a significant problem and cause for concern. Drug abuse permeates all layers of American society, "cutting across income, age, gender, educational, racial, and class barriers" (Nicholson 280). Because of significant increases in the sale, possession and use of drugs in the U.S., a wave of harsher punishment through legislation increased the severity of criminal sanctions for drug users. Such sanctions have created moral controversy over those who favor rehabilitation rather than criminal sanctions against drug users.

Lynch and Blotner (5) argues that most "control laws" are not aimed at drugs, but are aimed at protection a set of "moral standards" which reject drugs as contributing to the emotional, physical and psychological ill health of those who use them. Considering both President George W. Bush (cocaine) and his predecessor, President William J. Clinton (marijuana), both admitted to using drugs shows the extend of drug use in American society on all levels. This analysis will discuss the moral issues and conflict between those who view drug use as requiring harsh criminal sanctions and those who favor rehabilitation as the best means of resolving this social and moral dilemma.

The moral camps that favor punishment and rehabilitation respectively can also be broken into conservative and liberal groups. Those who believe drug use is immoral and users require punishment often fall in the conservative group. Beginning in the 1980s, rising crime rates, a public skeptical of rehabilitation, and politicians keen to gain public approval by looking tough on drugs caused a paradigm shift in U.S. drug policy away from rehabilitation and treatment and toward greater criminal sanctions. Conservatives o...

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Moral Analysis of Drug Addiction. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:41, February 26, 2017, from