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UBC Theses and Dissertations

From root to branch : a feedback examination of the path of American narcotic policy in the 20th century Tarvydas, Maia


The question that this thesis aims to answer is: to what extent has early institutional policy framing of narcotic abuse shaped the approach to narcotic policy at the federal level during the twentieth century? Policy feedback explains how policy framing of narcotic abuse as a criminal phenomenon directed the public to behave in a way that aligns with this framing, which extended to political behaviour and reinforced the criminal framing of narcotic abuse through electoral politics and a locked-in approach to narcotic policy that emphasizes punishment. This paper uses process tracing to illustrate this feedback from 1930 to 1999. This thesis finds preliminary evidence of policy feedback in the area of narcotic policy, which is in line with findings in other areas of American health policy and connects to the general literature of state development and policy feedback.

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