Drugs and Politics

Front Cover
Paul Elliott Rock
Transaction Publishers, 1977 M01 1 - 331 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Reconstructing and reporting the history of a social problem is always a diffi cult and speculative enterprise. Substantial areas of the problem may never have been recorded because they were covert or concealed. Those unknown areas form an uncertain context for interpreting the residue that was intentionally or unwittingly left for others to examine. The residue itself is composed of contributions made by people who were often engaged in masking or transforming the possible signifi cance of what they were doing. The worlds of legislators, control agents, and deviants tend to be complex, ambiguous, and marked by internal contradiction. They revolve around practices that are variously discredited or discreditable; designed for very diverse audiences; expressly public or intensely private; and shaped by confl icting, perhaps irreconcilable, imperatives and principles. Each practice assumes a different meaning when it is individually evaluated. Only a few facets of such worlds will ever become visible, they are politically laden, and those facets that can be inspected must be treated circumspectly.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages


Introduction Paul E Rock
Early History of Narcotics Use and Narcotics
An Organizational
The Marihuana Tax Act Howard S Becker
The Politics
The Drug Addict as a Folk Devil
The Police as Amplif iers of Deviancy
Methadones Rise and Fall Andrew Moss
Phases of a Ghetto Career
Street Status and Drug Use Harvey Feldman
A Collective Portrait
The Culture of Civility Howard S Becker
The Helping
Cannabis Alcohol and the Management

The Politics of Drugs Irving Louis Horowitz
Howard S Becker

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 42 - addicts" and does not undertake to prescribe methods for their medical treatment. They are diseased and proper subjects for such treatment, and we cannot possibly conclude that a physician acted improperly or unwisely or for other than medical purposes...
Page 64 - Wherever rules are created and applied, we should be alive to the possible presence of an enterprising individual or group. Their activities can properly be called moral enterprise, for what they are enterprising about is the creation of a new fragment of the moral constitution of society, its code of right and wrong.
Page 28 - The opinion cannot be accepted as authority for holding that a physician who acts bona fide and according to fair medical standards, may never give an addict moderate amounts of drugs for self-administration in order to relieve conditions incident to addiction.
Page 58 - Indian hemp, and more attention has been focused upon specific cases reported of the abuse of the drug than would otherwise have been the case. This publicity tends to magnify the extent of the evil and lends color to an inference that there is an alarming spread of the improper use of the drug, whereas the actual increase in such use may...
Page 113 - HIPPIE THUGS - THE SORDID TRUTH: Drugtaking, couples making love while others look on, rule by a heavy mob armed with iron bars, foul language, filth, and stench, THAT is the scene inside the hippies' fortress in London's Piccadilly.
Page 236 - Deviance," like conforming behavior, is highly selective. San Francisco's culture of civility, accepting that premise, assumes that if I know that you steal or take dope or peddle your ass, that is all I know. There may be more to know; then again, there may be nothing. The deviant may be perfectly decent in every other respect. We are often enjoined, in a generalization of therapeutic doctrine, to treat other people as individuals; that prescription comes nearer to being filled in San Francisco...
Page 59 - In 1932, the Conference approved a draft law. The Bureau commented: The present constitutional limitations would seem to require control measures directed against the intrastate traffic in Indian hemp to be adopted by the several State governments rather than by the Federal Government, and the policy has been to urge the State authorities generally to provide the necessary legislation, with supporting enforcement activity, to prohibit the traffic except for bona fide medical purposes. The proposed...
Page 27 - Armed with what came to be known as the Behrman indictment, the Narcotics Division launched a reign of terror. Doctors were bullied and threatened, and those who were adamant went to prison. Any prescribing for an addict, unless he had some other ailment that called for narcotization, was likely to mean trouble with the Treasury agents. The addict-patient vanished; the addict-criminal emerged in his place. Instead of policing a small domain of petty stamp-tax chisellers, the Narcotics Division expanded...
Page 58 - While it is, of course, difficult to know what the motives of Bureau officials were, we need assume no more than that they perceived an area of wrongdoing that properly belonged in their jurisdiction and moved to put it there. The personal interest they satisfied in pressing for marihuana legislation was one common to many officials: the interest in successfully accomplishing the task one has been assigned and in acquiring the best tools with which to accomplish it.

Bibliographic information