Unintended consequences of drug prohibition: How does the drug abuse start?
|Author:||Bc. Daniel Džmuráň|
|Year:||2014 - summer|
|Leaders:|| PhDr. Jiří Schwarz Ph.D.
|Work type:|| Bachelors
|Awards and prizes:||B.A. with distinction from the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences for an extraordinarily good bachelors diploma thesis.|
|Abstract:||Drug abuse is a major contemporary issue that draws attention of scientists as well as
of the general public. Attitudes towards drug prohibition, however, differ greatly. On the one
hand, the so called prohibitionists emphasize that each country needs to fight drug abuse.
Their critics, on the other hand, argue that this approach constitutes baseless interfererence
with the free market and personal freedom. In addition, oponents of drug prohibition point out
to the various unintended consequences that the prohibition brings along. Author of this text
pays a special attention to the concept of these consequences and, as a result, gives a detailed
overview of existing research on unintended consequences in the context of drug prohibition.
The main goal of this text is to contribute into the discussion on drug prohibition by
conducting a specific empirical research that discloses one of the negative consequences of
the prohibition – the illegal black market. Being a direct effect of the drug prohibition, the
black market increases the availability of drugs to teenagers. The validity of this effect was
confirmed by data obtained by questionnaires from a sample of Prague drug users. The reason
is that the data shows that the entrance into the black market for teenagers is enabled by their
immediate circle of friends and other people around them, which is a trend that would not
occur on a regulated legal market.