Methamphetamine: Fact vs. Fiction and Lessons from the Crack Hysteria

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February 20, 2014
Carl L. Hart, Joanne Csete, Don Habibi

The rise in methamphetamine use has provoked a barrage of misinformation and reckless policies, such as mandatory minimum sentences, increased penalties and major restrictions against certain medicines. Methamphetamine: Fact vs. Fiction and Lessons from the Crack Hysteria revb eals the extreme stigmatization of users and dangerous policy responses that are reminiscent of the crack hysteria in the 1980s and 1990s, which led to grossly misguided laws that accelerated mass incarceration in the United States. The report recommends that national and international policymakers review laws that harshly punish methamphetamine possession or use, invest in treatment rather than punishment, restudy the restriction of access to amphetamines for legitimate medical purposes, and stop supporting wasteful and ineffective campaigns of misinformation on methamphetamine use.

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