The Criminal Justice System Help Regulate Illegal Drug Use Essay

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To gain a well rounded analysis, we look to other studies which emphasise the enduring strength of barriers – peer pressure, parental attachment, personal value systems – that keep most young people from associating with a culture in which familiarity with drugs is ‘normal '. The idea behind this argument is that drug use is in fact far from the norm, young drug users hold the same values as that of wider society and they only take drugs because they are trying to neutralise the guilt that has resulted from engaging in a behaviour they know is ultimately wrong. With this argument in mind, one could argue that it is up to the criminal justice system to help regulate illegal drug use because young people are aware that what they are doing is wrong and carry on doing so because they already feel guilty about breaking societal values. As plausible as this argument may seem, such an interpretation is simplistic in that it makes assumptions that those who take drugs perceive it to be wrong, instead they may just feel guilt because of the existing societal sanctions that are in place and not because they are breaking so called 'societal values '. Having said this, there are also other studies which support the findings of the NWELS. South argues that "the ‘normalisation of drug use’ reflects society’s undeniable awareness of drugs issues; for example, drugs education and prevention efforts indicate that these substances are no longer perceived as exceptional and remote but as

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