Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Drug Policy and Legislation
Christine Ivie Edge
Although much of the public debate surrounding drug policy occurs at the federal level, many important decisions are made at the state and local levels. Local and state narcotics control within the United States emerged in the latter part of the 1800s, originating in those communities directly threatened by drugs such as morphine, opium, and cocaine. A current trend in drug policy involves a growing shift of responsibility from the federal level to the state and local levels. This is plainly seen in the area of enforcement where local police make the preponderance of arrests. Increasingly, states and localities are also assuming larger roles in the funding and implementation of social programs used to combat drug abuse. Both federal and state drug laws typically involve the use of mandatory sentencing. On the state level, laws can vary in severity and change from time to time. The earliest semblance of local ...