Drug policy research is the application of policy analysis in the substance abuse domain with a level of rigor that merits publication in academic journals on the grounds that the methods and/or results can provide foundational insights upon which subsequent analyses might draw. Policy analysis in turn is an interdisciplinary field that strives to objectively and empirically understand the consequences of different public policy interventions, including both retrospective evaluation of past interventions and prospective projections of contemplated interventions. It is useful to distinguish three types of policy analysis:
1)Analysis of net effects on society as a whole (a "social planner’s perspective"),
2)Distributive analysis of effects on each significant group of stakeholders, and
3)Political analysis of what convergence of forces can push through a piece of legislation or other policy change.
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