Eight questions for drug policy research

Mark A R Kleiman, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eight questions that can help form a better drug quality research are discussed. The fundamental policy question concerning any drug is whether to make it legal or prohibited. Accepting that binary simplification, the choice becomes what kind of problem one prefers. Use and use-related problems will be more prevalent if the substance is legal. Polydrug use is the norm, particularly among frequent and compulsive users. Therefore, scoring policy interventions by considering only effects on the target substance is potentially misleading. The HOPE approach to enforcing conditions of probation and parole, named after Hawaiis Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, offers the potential for reducing use among drug-involved offenders at a larger scale. Reducing drug use among active offenders could also shrink illicit drug markets, producing benefits everywhere. Many agencies now recommend adoption of prevention and treatment programs that are evidence-based.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalIssues in Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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