The Impact of Weight-Based Penalties on Drug Purity and Consumption: A Theoretical Analysis
This paper investigates the impact of an increase in law enforcement on the purity of illicit drugs and illicit drug consumption. The impact is explored under the assumption that dealer penalties increase in the weight of drugs sold (as stipulated by current U.S. drug sentencing guidelines) and under the assumption that penalties increase in the effective dose, equal to purity times weight, of drugs sold. The paper finds that an increase in either the certainty of dealer or user punishment, under the assumption of weight-based dealer penalties, may increase the purity and the quantity of drugs consumed. An increase in the certainty of either dealer or user punishment, under effective dose-based penalties, decreases drug purity and the quantity of drugs consumed.
Volume (Year): 32 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
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