Drugs and Rights

Drugs and Rights

3.33 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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This important book was the first serious work of philosophy to address the question: Do adults have a moral right to use drugs for recreational purposes? Many critics of the 'war on drugs' denounce law enforcement as counterproductive and ineffective. Douglas Husak argues that the 'war on drugs' violates the moral rights of adults who want to use drugs for pleasure, and that criminal laws against such use are incompatible with moral rights. This is not a polemical tract but a scrupulously argued work of philosophy that takes full account of all available data concerning drug use in the United States today. The author is careful to describe the properties a recreational drug would have to possess before the state would be justified in prohibiting it. Since criminal laws against the use of recreational drugs are justified neither by the harm users cause to themselves nor by the harm users cause to each other, Professor Husak concludes that such laws are, in almost all cases, unjustified.show more

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Review quote

"No one seriously interested in criminal justice in the United States can afford to ignore this book...Husak's book is certainly the best book by a philosopher on the right to drug use in recent years and will hopefully encourage philosophers and others to engage this issue with the kind of critical rigor it surely deserves." David A. J. Richards, Ethics "Douglas Husak's Drugs and Rights is an extremely interesting and well written inquiry into whether adults have a moral right to the use of recreational drugs...While Husak primarily wants to make his case on moral grounds, this book also provides a useful overview of what we know about those who use drugs. The skillful blending of moral philosophy with empirical social science is certainly one of the strengths of this work...One can only hope that before we fight another losing battle in the drug war, Husak's analysis is given a wide reading." Donald W. Crowley, Legal Studies Forum "[A] sensitive and reasoned contribution...to an area of debate far too often clouded by prejudice and collective hysteria." Will Self, Times Literary Supplementshow more

Table of contents

1. Drugs, drug use, and criminalization; 2. Drugs and harm to users; 3. Drugs and harm to others; 4. Restrictions on drug use.show more

Rating details

6 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2)
4 0% (0)
3 50% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 17% (1)
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