Italian law prohibits the use of narcotic substances, stipulating that the Prefecture be informed about any individual who is found in possession of a small amount of illegal drugs. The Prefect then summons the user to ascertain the reasons for his or her illegal behaviour and to judge whether to apply an administrative sanction. The purpose of this conversation is supposed to be to dissuade the user from repeating the behaviour. The article presents the findings of a study conducted to analyse the effectiveness of this procedure as a deterrent, considering the opinions of a sample of 330 drug users identified to the Prefectures in nine Italian cities. The results of the research illustrate that the special deterrent effect of this administrative procedure is singularly limited. In particular, the study calls attention to certain mechanisms that enable us to understand why the administrative procedure appears to have a negligible deterrent impact on the users identified.
Keywords: Sanctions, Illegal drug use, Special deterrence, Effectiveness
Daniele Scarscelli, Rosalba Altopiedi, Roberta Dameno, Massimiliano Verga, Sanctions and illegal drug use. An exploratory survey on a sample of consumers in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL DIRITTO " 2/2011, pp. 137-164, DOI:10.3280/SD2011-002007