Tough on the Weak – Drug Laws and Policing

September, 2016



This article aims to identify the main impacts of drug law enforcement on policing. It points to five interrelated effects: 1) Suppression focused on minor offenses and the weakest links in the chain; 2) Arrest patterns often based on stereotypes that affect the most vulnerable populations; 3) Perverse incentives that reward indiscriminate repression; 4) Corruption and penetration of organized crime; and 5) Excessive use of force and violations of human rights.


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