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Political Orientations to Drugs

Political Orientations to Drugs - • Liberals take a...

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Political Orientations to Drugs The Conservative View • Conservatives emphasize the importance of moral values in their analysis of social problems. Drug use is seen as a symptom of poor moral instruction to young people. Conservatives look to schools, churches, and families to raise children with the moral values that will give them the strength to resist the temptation to use drugs. • Conservatives define drugs use as a serious social problem that encourages crime and weakens both individual character and family. In response, conservatives favor tough laws, aggressive enforcement, and severe penalties. They also focus on the importance for parents to raise their children to make good moral choices. he Liberal View • Liberals place a high value on personal freedoms. They see drug use as a symptom of the suffering of many people from various problems, such as poverty and powerlessness.
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Unformatted text preview: • Liberals take a tolerant view of “soft” drugs (e.g., marijuana) and some favor experimenting with legalization. They argue that current policies criminalize hundreds of thousands of people who pose little harm to anyone. They call for less emphasis on police, courts, and prisons—and more emphasis on drug education programs and treatment programs for those struggling with addiction. By expanding economic opportunity and increasing social equality, drug use should decrease. The Radical View • Radicals see drug laws (and all other laws) as reflecting the interests of the powerful and criminalize poor people and minorities. • Radicals believe that society needs to be completely restructured to spread wealth, power, and opportunities to all; by doing so, the conditions that lead people to deal and use drugs in the first place will be reduced....
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