Ska det vara kriminellt att knarka? Kriminaliseringen av narkotikabruk ur ett straffrättsteoretiskt perspektiv.
Sammanfattning: This thesis concerns the issue of when it is legitimate to criminalize. The study focuses on the criminalization of drug use in Sweden and examines whether the criminalization can be justified using criteria from the liberal criminal theory. The liberal criminal theory advocates a restrictive use of criminal law and it states that criminalization as a method for preventing unwanted behaviors ought to be used as a last resort. In order to prevent legislators from making arbitrary legislation the theory imposes a number of requirements. For one the legislator has to specify which interest the criminalization aims to protect and also what damage the interest is to be protected from. Furthermore the theory demands that criminalization is the most effective means in order to reduce the unwanted behavior. Because punishment reflects censure from society, advocates for the liberal criminal theory states that criminalization ought to be reserved for the most reprehensible acts. When criminalization of drug use was carried out in Sweden in the eighties the importance of society’s repudiation of all forms of association with drugs was emphasized. It was considered pressing that the political debate on prohibition of drug use came to an end so that time could be spent on other, more important, matters in the drug issue. It was presumed that criminalization would lead to an effect resulting in more youth abstaining from drugs. It seems as if the provided reasons in favor of criminalization do not correspond with the demands put up in the liberal criminal theory. The legislator has not clarified what interests the legislation is meant to protect and neither what damage it is to be protected from. In addition to that there has not been any inquiry about the presumed effect of the criminalization. Continuing in the same way the legislator omits to explain why drug use is to be considered reprehensible. It seems as if the prohibition of drug use has been a way for the presiding government to remove an inconvenient issue from the agenda and at the same time win political points by showing ability in the drug issue.
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