Discuss the academic arguments for and against the legalisation of recreational drugs.

1.500 words

UK Law: Crime and Criminality

Drugs and crime: Legal and illegal intoxicants and crime. Criminalisation Vs. medicalisation, policy and the legalisation debate.


Research the following two website aIDresses in preparation for the expand updates relation to the Drugs Act 2005 and the Government’s (2008) 10 year drugs strategy– http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100419081707/http:/drugs.homeoffice.gov.uk/publication-search/drug-strategy/drug-strategy-2008 – Generally see also www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/ and www.drugs.gov.uk

Measham, F and South, N. “Drugs, Alcohol and Crime” (2012) in Maguire, M., R and Reiner R. (Eds) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (5th Edition) (Oxford). Chapter 23.

Nutt, D. (2009). Estimating Drug Harms: A Risky Business. Eve Saville Lecture, Kings College Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. http://www.crimeandjustice.org/opus1714/Estimating_drug_harms.pdf

Further Reading specifically on Drugs and Crime:

Hughes, C.E. and Stevens, A. (2010). ‘What Can We Learn From The Portuguese Decriminalisation of Illicit Drugs?’. The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 50(6), pp. 999-1023.

Carrabine E, Iganski P, Lee M, Plummer K and South N (2004) Criminology: A Sociological Introduction (London: Routledge). Chapter 12

South, N. (2001) Drugs Alcohol and Crime, in Maguire, M., Morgan, R. and Reiner, R. The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (Oxford: Clarenden Press)

HMSO (1998) Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain: The Government’s Ten Year Strategy for Tackling Drug Misuse

Croall, H (1998) Crime and Society in Britain (London: Longman). Chapter 14

Pickford, J (2000) Youth Justice: Theory and Practice (Cavendish: London) – Chapter 6

Agar, M. (2003) ‘The Story of Crack’: Towards a Theory of Illicit Drug Trends’ in AIDiction Research and Theory, 11:1, 3-29.

Reinarman, C., and Levine, H. (2004) ‘Crack in the Rearview Mirror’: Deconstructing Drug War Mythology’ in Social Justice Vol. 31, Nos. 1–2: 182-199.

Stevenson, R. (1997). Winning the War on Drugs: To Legalise or Not? Surrey: Optichrome.

Structure of crime & criminality essay

1. TITLE – the whole of your essay should focus on the title and aIDress the specific question asked and issues raised by the question.

2. INTRODUCTION AND METHODOLOGY – contextualize the nature of the topic and explain how you are going to aIDress the specific question in your essay. This involves interpreting what the question is asking you to explore/examine and setting out how you are going to do this. Identify the topics/issues you are going to cover in order to aIDress the question. Show the order in which you are going to cover these issues that you have identified as necessary in order to answer what is being asked.

3. MAIN BODY – Develop your argument or line of reasoning. Introduce the each of the topics you are going to cover in turn (in separate paragraphs) ensuring that each topic follows your line of reasoning. Cite academics/sources/statistics/quotes/case studies etc. (e.g. Smith D. 2014) in order to support your arguments (full references will go in the bibliography). Ensure that each part/paragraph is linked and flows well.

4. CRITICAL ANALYSIS/ASSESSMENT of the evidence presented above, plus possible reforms, alternative models etc. where relevant.

5. SUMMARY CONCLUSION – summarise your argument and the main themes, and state your conclusions based on the evidence/research you have done. Your last sentence should sum up your argument whilst linking it to the title.

6. BIBLIOGRAPHY – list all your sources in terms of your research for the essay, as well as the books, articles, statistics etc. that you have referred to in your essay in alphabetical order – e.g. Pickford, J (2000) Youth Justice: Theory and Practice (London: Cavendish).