Ineffectiveness, financial waste, and unfairness: The legacy of the war on drugs

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6 Scopus citations


This article serves as an introduction to the special issue of the Journal of Crime & Justice on the legacy of the War on Drugs. In it, I argue that the War on Drugs is a major shift in U.S. drug control strategy, one that significantly expanded U.S. drug control efforts and the use of punitive criminal justice sanctions in those efforts. Further, despite massive public investment in these intensified drug control efforts, the War on Drugs has been a failure that has exacted significant collateral damage. I then introduce the articles contained in this special issue. These articles illuminate the failures of, damage done by, and possible ways out of the War on Drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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