Research and report on the acute and long-term physical and behavioral effects of a drug of your choice and discuss opinions on the legalization of drugs.

Discussion Questions
Research and report on the acute and long-term physical and behavioral effects of a drug of your choice and discuss opinions on the legalization of drugs.

1. Choose a substance described in your readings for the first three weeks of the class. 
Answer the following 8 questions about the substance, using your sources:
1. What are the behavioral effects of the substance? (cite your source)
2. What are the physiological effects of the substance? (cite your source)
3. What are the acute health effects of using this substance? (cite your source)
4. What are the chronic health effects of using this substance? (cite your source)
5. Are any of these effects worse when combined with other drugs? Which ones? (cite your source)
6. What did you learn that surprised you the most? (no citation needed)
In order to answer questions 7 & 8, WATCH THESE THREE SHORT VIDEOS to learn the difference between legalization and decriminalization of drugs. Big Think The Harvard economist explains why legalizing all drugs—including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine—would be a better policy than the current prohibition. Dr. Carl Hart on Legalization vs Decriminalization of Drugs How Portugal Successfully Tackled Its Drug Crisis
Then read the following from Wikipedia
Drug legalization
Drug legalization calls for a return to the pre-20th century situation in which almost all drugs were legal. This would require ending government-enforced prohibition on the distribution or sale and personal use of specified (or all) currently banned drugs. Proposed ideas range from full legalization which would completely remove all forms of government control, to various forms of regulated legalization, where drugs would be legally available, but under a system of government control which might mean for instance:
· Mandated labels with dosage and medical warnings,
· Restrictions on advertising,
· Age limitations,
· Restrictions on amount purchased at one time,
· Requirements on the form in which certain drugs would be supplied,
· Ban on sale to intoxicated persons,
· Special user licenses to purchase particular drugs.
· A possible clinical setting for the consumption of some intravenous drugs and/or supervised consumption.
The regulated legalization system would probably have a range of restrictions for different drugs, depending on their perceived risk, so while some drugs would be sold over the counter in pharmacies or other licensed establishments, drugs with greater risks of harm might only be available for sale on licensed premises where use could be monitored and emergency medical care made available. Examples of drugs with different levels of regulated distribution in most countries include: caffeine (coffee, tea), nicotine (tobacco), and ethyl alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits).
Full legalization is often proposed by groups such as libertarians who object to drug laws on moral grounds, while regulated legalization is suggested by groups such as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition who object to the drug laws on the grounds that they fail to achieve their stated aims and instead greatly worsen the problems associated with use of prohibited drugs, but who acknowledge that there are harms associated with currently prohibited drugs which need to be minimized. Not all proponents of drug re-legalization necessarily share a common ethical framework, and people may adopt this viewpoint for a variety of reasons. In particular, favoring drug legalization does not imply approval of drug use. 
Drug decriminalization
Drug decriminalization calls for reduced control and penalties compared to existing laws. Proponents of drug decriminalization generally support the use of fines or other punishments to replace prison terms, and often propose systems whereby illegal drug users who are caught would be fined, but would not receive a permanent criminal record as a result. A central feature of drug decriminalization is the concept of harm reduction.
Drug decriminalization is in some ways an intermediate between prohibition and legalization, and has been criticized as being “the worst of both worlds”, in that drug sales would still be illegal, thus perpetuating the problems associated with leaving production and distribution of drugs to the criminal underworld, while also failing to discourage illegal drug use by removing the criminal penalties that might otherwise cause some people to choose not to use drugs. However, there are many that argue that the decriminalization of possession of drugs would redirect focus of the law enforcement system of any country to put more effort into arresting dealers and big time criminals, instead of arresting minor criminals for mere possession, and thus be more effective.
In 2001 Portugal began treating use and possession of small quantities of drugs as a public health issue. This means rather than incarcerating those in possession they are referred to a treatment program. The drugs are still illegal, the police just handles the situation differently. This also decreases the amount of money the government spends fighting a war on drugs and money spent keeping drug users incarcerated. “As noted by the EMCDDA, across Europe in the last decades, there has been a movement toward “an approach that distinguishes between the drug trafficker, who is viewed as a criminal, and the drug user, who is seen more as a sick person who is in need of treatment” (EMCDDA 2008, 22).6 A number of Latin American countries have similarly moved to reduce the penalties associated with drug use and personal possession” (Laqueur, 2015, p. 748). Portugal is the first country that has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs, to positive results. Anyone caught with any type of drug in Portugal, if it is for personal consumption, will not be imprisoned.
7. LEGALIZATION: Do you think that all drugs should be legalized in general? Why or why not? (See pages 340-341 in the textbook). (No citation needed)
8. DECRIMINALIZATION: Do you think that all drugs should be decriminalized like Portugal did? Why or why not? (no citation needed)
Format: Use the following headings: (See sample post – a separate document)
1. Behavioral effects
2. Physiological effects
3. Acute health effects
4. Chronic health effects
5. Combining with other drugs
6. What surprised me 
7. Legalization of all drugs
8. Decriminalization of all drugs
· Because this is college, you need to use at least TWO academic sources: from government reports or scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles. This will give you experience doing academic research. You can use the course textbook or other sources as additional sources, but they will not count as one of the two required sources.  Read the handout (below) on scholarly sources.
· Use the NU library to find your sources. If you don’t know how, contact the NU library for help. 
· Use your OWN WORDS (e.g., do not cut and paste from an article). 
· Do NOT use any quotations.  Paraphrase (use your own words) to report the information.
· Use in-text citations. Write the source of your information at the end of the applicable sentences using APA 6th edition format.  This will give you practice using APA to cite references. 
· List all the references in APA 6th Edition format at the end of your post in a References list. 
NOTE: If you are new to APA, I recommend that you use an online citation builder such as APA Style Central or the NU library database to automatically format your references correctly. You can also get help from the Writing Center and the NU library on how to use APA to cite references. 
IMPORTANT: Do NOT submit your first draft. First, read what you wrote out loud. Check for:
– Missing words or letters
– Missing or misplaced periods, apostrophes, commas 
– Incomplete sentences
– 2 or more sentences strung together that should be made into separate sentences
– Putting something is past tense that should be in present tense or vice versa
– Plural words that should be singular or singular words that should be plural
– Making the verb and subject match (plural or tense) 
AFTER you make these corrections, then post your discussion. 
Then post 2 responses to other student posts, at least 5-6 full sentences long. You do not need to include any citations in your responses, but you can if you would like. 
Contact the Library – or (858) 541-7900
1-866-NU ACCESS x 7900 (toll free)
This class also has a special NU library page that was created by librarian Zemirah Lee to help you do research
It contains references related to our assignments. Zem is available by appointment for one-hour consultations to help you find sources, format in APA and more.  
· 1-page instruction on Reference List format
· 2-page handout on APA
· Short video on in text citations
· 13 minute video overview on APA
· website with many APA resource links Short video on how to format your Reference list  Short video on      how to order your Reference list correctly

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