Discuss what you consider to be an appropriate role for the Australian state to take in regulating substance use (including alcohol and tobacco) and controlling individual behaviour when they are patently harming themselves and possibly other community members

Task

Choose ONE of the following questions
EITHER
Considerable evidence suggests that the legalization of drugs would create behavioral and public health problems to a degree that would far outweigh the current consequences of the drug prohibition. There are some excellent reasons why marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, and other drugs are now controlled, and why they ought to remain so. 
(Inciardi 2008 p 288).
In 2001 Portugal decriminalised possession and personal use of all drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. In 2009 this approach was in the process of being implemented in Mexico and Argentina whilst Brazil and Ecuador are considering partial decriminalisation
Do you believe that the Portuguese approach would be an appropriate path for Australia to take or would you support Inciardi’s contention that the state has a legitimate role in determining which substances we can consume to our hearts content (alcohol, tobacco) and those that we must not touch for fear of prosecution?
 Discuss what you consider to be an appropriate role for the Australian state to take in regulating substance use (including alcohol and tobacco) and controlling individual behaviour when they are patently harming themselves and possibly other community members?
There is no “correct” answer to this assignment but you must support your argument with reference to the literature. You can be as radically progressive or as conservative as you wish; you may even conclude that the current system where government regulation is in place is the best approach. You must reference your work and provide a critique of information gathered from your research.
OR
While there is no doubt that problems have been caused by gambling and by poker machines, these negatives do not justify stopping the 97.9 per cent who are not classed as ‘problem’ gamblers from consuming a product they enjoy. A 2003 survey in Victoria found that only 4 per cent of people had found gambling had a negative impact on their lives, compared to 21 per cent who found it had a positive impact (and 75 per cent for whom it made no difference). Why should the needs of the 4 per cent outweigh the 21 per cent? 
(Allsop 2008:15)
Do you agree with Allsop when he contests that the individual is best placed to decide when and where s/he chooses to gamble and that the state should have only a minor role in regulating such behavior? 
Discuss what you consider to be an appropriate role is role for the Australian state to take in the regulation of gambling activity and controlling individual behaviour particularly when they are patently harming themselves and possibly other community members?
There is no “correct” answer to this assignment but you must support your argument with reference to the literature
You can be as radically progressive or as conservative as you wish; you may even conclude that the current system where government regulation is in place but that adults can easily participate in gambling activities is the best approach. You must reference your work and provide a critique of information gathered from your research.
 
Rationale
This assignment is designed to help you:
• demonstrate an understanding of the importance of contemporary public opinion on the development of social and political responses to substance use; 
• articulate the central tenets of Australia’s harm minimisation approach to drug use;
• describe the key historical drivers in the development of Australia’s drug policy;
• critically assess the factors that influence the development of government legislation in addressing drug and alcohol use and gambling in society;
• explain the differences between the concepts of decriminalisation and legalisation in relation to possession of currently illicit substances;
• describe the central tenets of a range of theoretical frameworks relating to the construct of drug addiction;
• demonstrate an understanding of the importance of contemporary public opinion on the development of social and political responses to substance use;
• display critical and reflective judgment;
• demonstrate research skills;
• show evidence of independent learning.
 
As such, this task is designed to assess your progress with learning the following subject outcomes:
• Be able to describe the processes of drug absorption and distribution
• Be able to describe the actions of various drugs in the Central Nervous System
• Be able to describe the mechanisms of tolerance, physical dependence and withdrawal
• Be able to describe the influence of psychological, social, cultural and political factors on drug dependence
• Be able to outline behavioural and social models of drug dependence.
 
Marking criteria
Essay

Please see the full marking rubric in the Interact Resources folder, which will include the performance standards to indicate what level of work is related to a Pass, Credit, Distinction, or High Distinction for this assessment task. Here are the key marking criteria and percentage considerations for this assessment item:
   Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the topic
   Present an argument supported by evidence
   Demonstrate critical reflection in their analysis of the topic
   Communicate in academic writing:
                   Structure
                   Conventions of written English (grammar, punctuation, spelling)
   Research skills and utilisation of relevant and appropriate literature
   Consistent implementation of appropriate referencing requirements
Considerations will be given to:
50% Addressed the required content. 


30% Presented own ideas using clear description and logical analysis and argument. 


10% Used research skills to identify and collate relevant material. 


10% Presented work logically and with good grammar, spelling, punctuation and referenced according to accepted convention.