Compare and Contrast Existing Drug Policy of Different Countries
This can be attributed majorly to the different cultural beliefs, political influence and medical beliefs. All in all, this paper aims at comparing and contrasting the existing drug policy of different countries, for this case the US and Australia. BABOR (2010) defines a drug policy as a policy, normally formed by the government, concerning the regulation and control of drugs considered to be dangerous, specifically those which are so addictive. It is important to mention that having a way of comparing and contrasting alcohol, tobacco and drug policies between countries is vital1. A metric to contrast and compare nations would give chance for changes or improvements to be observed; form standards for comparative purposes; and perhaps mend policy usefulness and proficiency. Current data shows that a majority of Americans use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.
The legalization of some of these drugs can be linked to this particular increase in use. The Alcohol Policy in the US and Australia Alcohol policy can particularly be defined as the laws and regulations that guide against the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In the US, alcohol consumption is considered lawful; therefore, there are no strict laws that prohibit its use, except for minors. For instance in the year 1984, the US congress passed into law the National Minimum Drinking Age Act that was meant to force all the states to raise the allowed drinking age from 18 to 195. 89 liters. Alcohol also contributes for most of the diseases and injury (about 3. 3 percent) second only to tobacco with regards to avertible cause of drug connected demises and hospitalization7.
There is an increasing trend of alcohol related harms in Australia and this simply points to the meager policies that have been enacted by the existing governments8. Most Australian policies therefore are based on enacting pricing strategies, controlling the marketing and finally limiting the availability of alcohol. Similar to the case of US, nearly all kinds of tobacco promotion, marketing and sponsorship are restricted by Australian laws13. Therefore relating the two tobacco policy in Australia and US, it is imperative to mention that there is a true comparison, and that both are aimed at reducing tobacco-related health harm, limiting fraudulent advertisements, and minimizing the tobacco-related expenses. Other countries, for instance some parts in Africa, have no single policy guiding the sale or smoking or tobacco, since some of them feel it has no significant effect to its population, economy or even religion.
Marijuana Policy in the US and Australia Marijuana policy can also be described as the laws and regulations that guide against the use, sale and promotion of marijuana14. Presently, the topic of legalizing marijuana is in course. Quantifying the government expenditure is one key way of comparing and contrasting drug policies in different countries. Drug budgets are a vital partial description of a country’s drug policy. The national drug budget can always be utilized to calculate what percentage of a nation’s GDP is spent on drug policy, making it possible for country to country comparison17. And the formation of a mutual methodology across countries and research teams means that this contrasting task is more sophisticated. Nevertheless, it has its disadvantages, for instance there is no agreement as to what elements of government spending should be included in the drug policy.
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