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This article returns to a war waged virtually throughout this century--a war between the theories of punishment and rehabilitation in curtailing the drug epidemic. Today, the terms of the war are recast as supply-side policies based upon law enforcement; destroying crops in source countries; interdiction and increased sentencing; and demand reduction based upon prevention, education, and treatment. The war on drugs has reached a feverish pitch. New policies and statutes have tightened the grip of supply-side policies, with images of battle and hate mongering which go beyond the vilified drug lords and governments which harbor them, to the middle men, the dealers, and even the users.

First this article reviews the set of current and proposed federal policies designed to punish users and to hold them strictly accountable for their addiction. Second, it proposes an alternative public health strategy for controlling the drug epidemic based upon social science research. Third, in demonstrating the efficacy and cost effectiveness of prevention and treatment, the article sets the parameters of a public health agenda in curtailing the drug epidemic.

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28 Hous. L. Rev. 285-308 (1991)