Title

Is the Government Keeping the Peace or Acting Like Our Parents? Rationales for the Legal Prohibitions of GHB and MDMA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2012

Department

English

Abstract

Various concerns and rationales have been the driving force for drug regulation in the United States. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) set up a comprehensive list of schedules and criteria that were intended to guide how all drugs were to be regulated, based on abuse liability and medical utility. This law was also supposed to eliminate the hodgepodge efforts of Congress in determining which drugs were legal to use and which ones were not, often based on utilitarian rationales. A comparative content analysis of the witness testimony at scheduling hearings, regarding two controlled substances, suggests that rationales for the scheduling of gammahydroxybutyric acid (GHB) typically were based on J. S. Mill's "harm to others" utilitarian approach, whereas the scheduling of methylene-dioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) was typically based on the utilitarian approach of legal paternalism.

Publication Title

Journal of Drug Issues

Volume

42

Issue

3

First Page

247

Last Page

262