Italy ramps up the drug war

The government rammed through a bill to restore criminal penalties for drug users.

Italy, which eliminated legal penalties for drug possession by referendum more than a decade ago, has now swung back the other way, though there seems to be some debate as to how far.

The story doesn’t seem to have penetrated the non-Italian mass media. I picked it up from The Drug Update, a news aggregator run by a group of UCLA students. It’s a new enterprise, and seems to be a high-quality one. If you want to keep track of what’s going on in both drug abuse policy and policy toward pharmaceuticals, think about adding The Drug Update to your bookmarks.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com