Management of Social Transformations - MOST Discussion Paper No. 44
The Relationship between Research and Drug Policy in
the United States
by Laurent Laniel
"In the interpretation of all social life, there is a persistent
and never-ending competition between what is right and what is merely
acceptable. In this competition, while a strategic advantage lies with
what exists, all tactical advantage is with the acceptable. Audiences
of all kinds most applaud what they like best." (1) John K. Galbraith
Based on a one-month field work, this paper gives a broad overview of
the social science research on drugs carried out in the United States.
It attempts to present a review of the problems raised by drugs in the
United States by examining current issues and their historical sources.
While acknowledging that the United States is both the largest producer
of drug research in the world and the world1s only "drug-control superpower",
this paper suggests, however, that the simultaneous leadership in social
science and world agenda-setting is not the result of a symbiotic relationship
between American research and policy-making. The paper is divided into
two main sections, the first on domestic issues related to drug-abuse
and trafficking, and the second on the main international problems currently
considered by American social science research on drugs.
Table of Contents
Research, Policy and Conventional Wisdom *
The American Leadership *
The United States and the MOST-Drugs Network *
Domestic Problems *
When it all started *
The Prohibition/Legalisation Debate *
The Drugs and Crime Nexus *
The Role of the Federal Government *
The Prison Problem *
Rationale for Punitive Policies *
ăSet and Setting╚: An Essential Concept in the American
Foreign Issues *
Early Narco-Diplomacy *
Present Research: Summary Review *
MOST and the United States *
DRUG CONTROL POLICY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES *
1. Methodological and Economic Issues *
2. The Drug Policy debate *
3.General Criminal Justice Issues *
4. Sentencing and Human Rights issues *
5. Race, Ethnicity and Gender issues *
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS *
1. General *
2. The Americas *
3. Mexico *
4. Andean Countries *
5. Russia *
SECURITY AND MILITARY ISSUES *
1. Strategic Issues *
2. Military Issues *
MONEY LAUNDERING *
1. General *
2. Media issues *
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES *
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ISSUES *
ECONOMICS OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND USE *
Policy and Conventional Wisdom (2)
Readers may find it paradoxical to see a quote from Galbraith═s famous
chapter ăThe Concept of Conventional Wisdom╚ at the beginning
of a paper on drug trafficking and policy research in the United
States. Indeed, conventional wisdom, or ăthe structure of ideas
that is based on acceptability╚ (3), has
little to do with research, which is supposed to produce scientifically
valid facts that are more than just ăacceptable╚. In turn,
these are widely recognised as ăknowledge╚ or ătruth╚,
and most people will assume, or at least hope, that scientific knowledge
inspires public policy. But if Galbraith, a sharp critical observer
of U.S. economic policy, has written several books showing that this
assumption/hope is overly optimistic, it is probable that he would have
written even more extensively if he had studied drug policy.
According to many studies and to American researchers interviewed during
the field study, it would seem that public policy on drugs has been
largely immune from the influence of research. Instead, conventional
wisdom appears to have been a major shaping force (4).
Judging from what a large number of American social scientists say about
it, the paradoxical impact of conventional wisdom seems to be a structural
feature of U.S. drug control policy. To a large extent, this paper reflects
the efforts so far largely fruitless of American social
scientists to counter-arrest the influence of conventional wisdom on
Because of the impact on policy of conventional wisdom and ideology,
and sometimes of political convenience and racial or ethnic prejudice,
leading American researchers have long viewed drug policies and what
drives them as an important, even crucial, part of their country═s ădrug
problem╚. Thus, books and articles about drug policy are far more
numerous in the United States than are studies of the actual workings
of the illegal drug trade. This is reflected in the bibliography provided
with this paper, in which ăDrug Control Policy and Criminal Justice
Issues╚ is the largest section, while much of the literature listed
in the other sections also discusses policy explicitly or implicitly,
and/or hopes to have an impact on it.
Regardless of the often ideologically-charged debate taking place in
the United States itself, the field study has made it clear that, for
a range of factors and in a variety of ways, U.S. drug policy and politics
are a very strong perhaps the strongest determinant of what
kind of research is done in America. An important reason for this is
that U.S. drug policy or at least some aspects thereof has
been widely perceived by numerous researchers to be seriously flawed
for a long time.
But, of course, the main reason for the centrality of policy in research
on drug trafficking anywhere in the world is that policy is based
on prohibition and the more or less aggressive enforcement thereof (which
varies across time and space) that make drugs illegal, and transform
the drug trade into ătrafficking╚ or ăsmuggling╚.
The formal illegality of the drug trade established by policy creates
an environment characterised by secrecy and danger, and it is the most
important factor determining the forms in which drugs are produced,
transported, sold and consumed. It is also an extremely significant
factor in drug price formation and support (5).
Danger and secrecy also present significant methodological difficulties
for would-be students of drug trafficking, and this may explain why
most research has been focused on policy.
For more than 100 years, ănarcotics╚, as Americans often
refer to banned substances whether or not they induce sleep or stupor,
have been a policy concern and have attracted the interest of scholars.
As a result, the United States today is probably the largest producer
of social science research on illegal drugs in the world. This leadership
can be explained by ăphysical╚ factors: the United States
is one of the richest and largest countries in the world, it has many
universities, and many independent and government research centres and
foundations. Moreover, because drugs are a major domestic and foreign
policy concern, and a subject of ideological and political debates,
funding has been comparatively more forthcoming than in other countries,
although many of the social scientists encountered during the field
study said that money was not all that easy to find.
Other factors, which explain both the abundance of research and its
overwhelming focus on policy, derive from the characteristics of American
democracy. Indeed, although national security and raison d═čtat
have ensured that American drug control is not totally devoid of ădark
areas╚, policy is more amenable to research because it is public
and generates a large quantity of official literature on which studies
can be based. Public scrutiny and the public═s right of access to official
documents is taken much more seriously in the United States than perhaps
in any other country in the world. Public accountability is a central
feature of American democracy and citizens - meaning the taxpayers who
bankroll the government - have a right to know what is done with their
money. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides a safeguard against
excessive government secrecy. Thus, the government produces a great
deal of literature in order to explain and justify what it does, and
care is taken to make this easily accessible to anyone. Much of it,
for example, is available on the Internet.
Money is also another crucial element explaining why so much research
has focused on policy. Indeed, on average the federal government has
spent well above $10 billion a year on drug control for at least the
last ten years. There are presently 52 federal agencies with a stake
in drug control, and each must justify its budget. The sharing of the
national drug control ăcake╚ that is, the annual allocation
of funds by Congress generates a bureaucratic and public debate
where arguments are used to support requests for funds. The arguments
thus put forth by the large American drug control bureaucracy in order
to obtain funding, and therefore reproduce itself, this bureaucratic
mechanics itself, and its impact on both the nature of policy and its
implementation have given rise to much research.
This is in keeping with a tradition that dates back to the very origins
of the United States. The need to prevent the establishment of oppressive
(European) forms of government was the main concern that inspired the
fathers of the Constitution of the United States, which seeks to guarantee
individual Liberty by establishing checks and balances and the separation
of government powers. Furthermore, the writings of John Stuart Mill
have had a strong influence on American thinking. Mill was extremely
wary of bureaucracy, which he thought tended to transform its activities
service to the people into an end unto itself (self-reproduction)
(6). As a result, suspicion of government activity,
and of bureaucracy in general, is widespread in the American research
community and in society at large, as is the perceived need to keep
them under control. It can be argued that research into drug policy,
often through the guise of searching for rationality, provides perhaps
the best current illustration of such suspicion.
United States and the MOST-Drugs Network
The drug ăresearch/policy nexus╚ that is, the links
between research, policy and politics in the United States is
also an important issue for the MOST-Drugs Program of UNESCO (hereinafter
referred to as ăMOST╚). Indeed, one of the specific objectives
of MOST is to ămake comparative analysis [č] between the countries
[studied within the MOST framework] and those geographical areas that
already have experience in this issue, principally the United States
and Andean countries╚ (7). Additionally,
the ăessential idea╚ behind the establishment by MOST of
an international network of researchers is that ăincreased use
of social science knowledge leads to improved social policy formulation╚
Two conclusions that can be drawn from the above provide the rationale
for this paper. First, the research produced by MOST is destined to
be compared with research done in the United States, because the latter
is viewed as ăexperienced╚ in the field of drug trafficking
research. This paper provides a brief overview of what makes up the
U.S. experience, its origins and subsequent development. It hopes thereby
to contribute to the comparative analysis of MOST═s output based on
new, updated, written material. Indeed, at present (to this writer═s
knowledge), no specific literature exists on which such a comparison
could be based. Second, the central objective of MOST is to improve
social policy through the provision of original research material. This
implies that what social policy there is has been unsatisfactory until
now and that research is needed to improve it. Therefore, it would seem
important to examine the multi-faceted and rather controversial relationship
between social science research and policy-making about drugs in the
United States, all the more so because the U.S. is of special concern
for MOST. Equally important, the United States is currently the world═s
only (and most powerful) ăanti-drug superpower╚, and what
it does or does not do, both at home and abroad, has significant repercussions
on the global drug trafficking and drug policy-making scenes. It is
no exaggeration to say that as far as the modern drug phenomenon is
concerned, the United States is where it all started in the late 19th
century and early 20th century. Indeed, the present legislation
of the majority of countries is modelled on, or in agreement with, international
legislation, which is itself inspired to a large extent on the American
drug control model.
The huge concern generated by drugs in American society since the 1980s,
together with the scale, punitiveness and impact of drug control policies
in the same period, have led many American scholars to look back to
the origins of drug control in order to understand the historical roots
of current issues. This ăre-examination╚ of history in the
light of present events provides the backbone of this paper. Indeed,
following French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, it is thought that history
is, or at least should be, central to a study of a phenomenon such as
What are thought to be the central issues of American domestic drug
problems are reviewed at some length in chapter 1. Because the research
literature on domestic problems far outnumbers that on foreign issues,
this paper has placed more emphasis on it. Finally, foreign policy problems
reflect to a very large extent the structure of the internal debate.
Hence American research on foreign issues is briefly summarised in the
first section of Chapter 2, while the second section is dedicated to
a brief review of two important forthcoming American books that contain
contributions by a member of MOST.
This paper is an effort to provide the MOST network with an overview
of the social science research on drugs carried out in the United States
as it was perceived by a French observer during a one-month field study
(9). Obviously, one month is far too short a time
to fully grasp all that is done in such a vast, diverse and active country.
Even in a year, it would be impossible to identify, obtain, read and
comment all the books and articles that American researchers have written
about drugs. Therefore, choices had to be made, the spotlight was thrown
on some areas while others were left in the dark, and generally it has
not been possible to go into very much detail. Although this is bound
to disappoint some readers, it is hoped that most readers will find
the overview useful.
Historical research on the origins of American drug control has shown
that many of the current preoccupations of social science with drug
policy have their roots in the 19th and early 20th
centuries when the industrial revolution hit the United States, deeply
transforming its economy and society. A shift in population distribution
patterns, the simultaneous growth of large urban middle and working
classes fuelled by a new wave of immigration, the emergence of new working
conditions and the progress of chemistry and pharmacology gave rise
to new problems, new concerns, new scientific concepts designed to address
them, new conventional wisdom, and new policies. However, it must be
stressed that the bulk of research attention up until the 1960s and
1970s was focused on drug use and its consequences, not on drug trafficking.
This remains largely true today, for even if research on trafficking
issues took off in the 1970s, the vast majority of the social science
literature still treats issues relating to drug use and drug policy
and its enforcement.
This chapter presents a broad overview of the central drug policy and
research issues in the United States. It examines some of the historical
roots of American drug control policy and some concepts that are viewed
as central in the current policy and research debates on drugs. The
first section looks at the origins and present state of the prohibition/legalisation
debate. The second section assesses the ăDrugs and Crime╚
nexus, possibly the largest single source of research, and controversy,
in the present U.S. debate about drugs. Indeed, both drug prohibition
and the links that American policy makers and general public have long
perceived as existing between drugs and crime, provide the basis of
present drug control policies in the United States and in much of the
rest of the world.
it all started
According to sociologist Harry Levine, the concept of ăaddiction╚
itself, and its definition by medical and moral authorities as a disease
or disease-like condition, was initially developed for ăhabitual
drunkenness╚ in the late 18th century (and did not
exist before that date), and then expanded to cover what are now called
ăillegal drugs╚, largely due to the problematic use of opiates
(mostly morphine) among veterans of the American Civil War (1861-1865)
and middle to upper class (white) women (10).
The socio-historical research of Levine and others suggests that addiction
is in fact a moral and social construct, whose creation owes much to
the Temperance movement of the 19th century (11).
Medical and moral concern with ăaddiction╚ among white Americans
led to legislative efforts aimed at controlling the domestic trade and
use of drugs starting in the late 19th century. Medical concern
with the widespread availability of psychoactive consumer goods (wines
and sodas laced with cocaine; heroin-based cough syrups, etc.), together
with the outrage and efficient lobbying of crusading moral
and religious leaders at their widespread use and abuse, led to the
adoption of national legislation.
The first federal law was the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, which required
that psychoactive ingredients be listed on the labels of goods traded
in interstate commerce; the second and better-known major statute was
the Harrison Act of 1914, a federal law which taxed the trade in opiates
and established that these drugs should be supplied to users only if
prescribed by medical practitioners. The Treasury Department was in
charge of enforcing the narcotic tax law. By 1920, it had set up a special
office to do so: the Narcotics Division of the Prohibition Unit. This
is the birth of the American drug enforcement federal bureaucracy, the
subsequent expansion of which has been subject to fascinating historical
research (12). In July 1930, the Narcotics Division
became the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), which until 1962 was headed
by a commissioner, the well-known Harry J. Anslinger, who thus became
one of the longest-serving senior government officials in American history.
Anslinger later played a key role in making law enforcement the preferred
means of treating the drug problem both at home and abroad (see below).
Back in the 19th century, a conventional wisdom formed around
the effects that drugs have on minority groups. Nativist and racist
fears of drug use among Chinese (opium) and Mexican (marijuana) immigrants
and African-Americans (cocaine) (13) initially
led western and southern counties and cities to adopt punitive laws
selectively aimed at minorities, while federal legislators soon passed
laws limiting the importation of smoking opium into the United States
(1883), banning Chinese immigrants from importing the drug (1887) and
restricting its domestic manufacture to American citizens (1890). Restrictions
on the trade in opium led to an underground market fuelled by smugglers.
With the subsequent bans on cocaine and heroin in the 1920s, and marijuana
in the late 1930s, drug smuggling increased. But, until the 1960s, drug
trafficking did not attract scientific attention and it does not seem
that it was viewed as a major social and political problem. A much more
powerful and enduring form of organised crime emerged out the (alcohol)
Prohibition era of the 1920s and early 1930s (see below).
ăHabitu*s╚, as white addicts were called,
were viewed as the unfortunate victims of ăgreedy corporations
and corrupt politicians╚ and of their own gullibility,
but real and imagined drug use by minority groups was associated with
crime and sexual promiscuity, and was generally perceived as a factor
that made minority members forget their ("inferior") place in society
(14). So while a medical approach was adopted
to care for the former, police and courts dealt with drug use by the
latter. This differentiated treatment of users according to their racial
and ethnic background was a source of concern in the 19th
century. Bertram et al. report the following statement by an appellate
court in Oregon that was assessing the constitutionality of a state
ban on opium smoking by Chinese immigrants: ăSmoking opium is
not our vice, and therefore, it may be that this legislation proceeds
more from a desire to vex and annoy the ´Heathen Chinese═ in this respect
than to protect the people from the habit.╚ (15)
Several of the issues identified above, as transformed by subsequent
developments during the 20th century, have been the focus
of social science research in the present-day United States. Some scholarly
attention has been focused on prohibition as the defining principle
of drug control policy, while the relationship between drugs, crime
and minorities has given rise to a wide range of research.
Addiction as a consequence of drug use gave rise to the prohibitionist
policies that were gradually established in the first thirty years of
the 20th century for opiates, cocaine and cannabis products.
To be more exact, it would seem that laws and policies aimed at the
suppression of drugs resulted from both the concept of addiction and
the conventional wisdom that drug use leads inevitably to addiction
which in turn leads to crime, and therefore is both morally reprehensible
and dangerous for society. This piece of conventional wisdom was successfully
propagated among political circles and society at large by moral and
religious leaders. American social historians say that these ăsymbolic
crusaders╚ and ămoral entrepreneurs╚ achieved victory
in the battle for the meaning ascribed to drugs. Since then, policy-making
circles and the vast majority of the U.S. (and world) population have
viewed drugs mostly as a dangerous individual and social threat. The
same logic led to the adoption of the 18th Amendment to the
American Constitution that established the prohibition of alcohol in
1909. Let us recall that the prohibition of alcohol fostered the development
of large criminal organisations that set up industrial-scale smuggling
infrastructure in and around the United States, which was then used
by drug traffickers when Prohibition was repealed in late 1933 (16).
But the point here is that prohibition as a basis of drug control policies
has been subject to debate in the United States and has given rise to
an abundant scholarly literature.
Today, two broad streams can be identified in this respect. First,
there are those who reject prohibition itself and advocate legalisation
and/or ăharm reduction╚ policies along the lines of those
in force in the Netherlands. The majority of these authors stress the
failure of current policy to reduce drug abuse and insist on the negative
consequences of prohibition, arguing that it creates a ăharm-maximising╚
environment for drug use while leading to the development of a violent
underground economy. They conclude that current drug policies have more
drawbacks than benefits and should be repealed (17).
Other ălegalisationists╚ make a more ideological, libertarian,
case by arguing that in a free society, people should be free to choose
whether they want to take drugs or not. It is not possible to list all
the numerous literature in this category (18),
but probably the better-known authors and those who have developed the
most influential arguments are Thomas Szasz (libertarian) and Ethan
Nadelmann (negative consequences) (19). The latter
is the director of The Lindesmith Center, a research and dissemination
centre on ădrug policy reform╚ based in New York and San
Francisco with a representation in the Netherlands (20).
Based on my field work, it would appear that independent researchers
who support prohibition explicitly are much less numerous than their
ălegalisationist╚ counterparts, but I may not have found
them simply because I did not look in the right places (21).
However, it could also be because prohibition has been the rule for
nearly 100 years, and currently enjoys the support of the majority of
legislators and citizens. Consequently, anti-prohibitionists must work
harder to shift opinion than do those who defend the status quo.
In this respect, it is interesting to note that the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) has felt the need to produce a document, ăSpeaking
Out Against Drugs Legalization╚ (DEA previously had made public
a similar document titled ăHow to Hold Your Own in a Drug Legalization
Debate╚), explicitly designed to provide arguments to those supporting
prohibition (22). DEA also has developed a pamphlet,
ăSay it Straight: The Medical Myths of Marijuana╚, specifically
aimed at countering the influence of the ămedical marijuana movement╚,
whose media campaigning and political lobbying has reportedly succeeded
in changing the legislation in California and Arizona to allow marijuana
use for AIDS and other patients in 1996 (23).
The Lindesmith Center has played a major role in the campaigns by providing
arguments and money. The title of this DEA document closely resembles
that of a book, ăMarijuana Myths/Marijuana Facts╚, that
was published by the Lindesmith Center in 1997 (24).
Both publications list ăfacts╚ and ăscientific evidence╚
about the effects of marijuana, but obviously for opposite purposes
(25). In addition, the latest ăNational
Drug Control Strategy╚ issued by the federal government in 1998,
contains specific provisions in order to ăcounter attempts to
legalise marijuana╚ (26).
It is important to note that this debate partially follows the traditional
rift separating the conservative and liberal forces of American society.
Broadly speaking, and in spite of significant exceptions on both sides,
while conservatives are staunch prohibition supporters, liberals would
tend to be in favour of vastly reforming the current drug control system.
At any rate, ălegalisationists╚ often accuse ăprohibitionists╚
of being ăconservative╚, while ăprohibitionists╚
say ălegalisationists╚ are ăliberals╚.
The present struggle opposing the DEA to the Lindesmith Center also
has roots in history, and it could even be viewed as the second round
of the ăfight╚ that opposed Harry Anslinger to Alfred Lindesmith,
a sociologist of the University of Indiana trained in the interactionist
methodology of the University of Chicago, after whom the Lindesmith
Center is named. Then as now, the ăring╚ was American public
opinion and policy-making circles, and the fight was about deciding
whether drug addicts should be treated as sick people or as criminals
(27). Anslinger eventually won the day, possibly
even beyond his own expectations, as is evidenced by present-day U.S.
drug policies (see below).
The second stream corresponds to the researchers who have taken the
prohibition/legalisation debate itself as an object of study (28).
Among those, a significant number of studies has been produced by the
economic modelists of the Drug Policy Research Center (DPRC) of the
Rand Corporation who have sought to assess the cost-effectiveness of
current policies and proposed alternatives (29).
On this and a wide range of other issues, the DPRC has been one of the
most noted, trusted and prestigious sources of research. By and large,
the conclusion of DPRC scholars is that policy, whether based on prohibition
or legalisation, has a very weak impact on drug use and that solutions
to the ădrug problem╚ of the United States, should be looked
for elsewhere, for instance in ăbroader features╚ of American
society such as a comparatively higher ăpropensity for risk taking╚,
weaker ăinformal social controls╚, ăinadequate provision
of health care for the poor, unequal income distribution and a high
level of criminal violence generally╚, according to a 1997 article
by Peter Reuter (30). But while Reuter stresses
the futility of drug policies for treating the drug problem, he insists
that the punitive ăharshness╚ of current U.S. drug policies
has had extremely serious consequences on some groups of American society,
charging that ăone consequence of politicians═ treating drug control
as a moral crusade has been an absolute uninterest, bordering on gross
negligence, in assessing the consequences, good or bad, of the emphasis
on punishment╚ (31). This latter statement
suggests that, unlike politicians, American social scientists have focused
much recent attention on the rationale for, and the consequences of
punitive drug policies. This type of research is reviewed in the following
Drugs and Crime Nexus
The Role of the Federal Government
At the origins of drug control, specific punitive legislation was developed
for minority drug users because it was said that drug use led minority
members to commit crimes. In fact, sociologists argue that this conventional
wisdom was the vehicle of deep-rooted fears of immigrants and black
Americans prevailing in ămainstream╚ American society at
the time. Historians say that Chinese and Mexican immigrants, together
with the former slaves of the South were perceived as dangers to the
economic security of the white working classes because they represented
a cheap competitive workforce. Early legislation treated these minorities
differently from white drug users. While the latter were viewed as victims
of a ădeathly habit╚, the former were perceived as criminals
and (mostly local) punitive legislation was passed against them. For
instance, in 1875, the authorities of San Francisco, California, banned
opium smoking, ăa practice closely identified with Chinese Americans╚
Later, from the 1930s onward, with the advent of FBN Commissioner Harry
Anslinger as America═s first (and longest serving) ăDrug Czar╚
and the development of the anti-drug bureaucracy, doctors═ power to
prescribe drugs became increasingly restricted, and the drugs and crime
nexus was gradually expanded to cover all drug use which came to be
viewed as ăun-American╚. According to historians, this was
achieved by a coalition of Treasury Department bureaucrats, a new generation
of ăanti-vice╚ activists and newspapers who, playing on
racist, ethnic and ideological fears (of communists), lobbied Congress
into adopting a ban on marijuana in 1937. It is the debate that preceded
the ban on marijuana that entrenched the notion that drugs lead to crime.
Historians say that, in effect, Anslinger created and successfully promoted
the idea which has since graduated to the level of conventional
wisdom that drug use leads to crime in order to carve a larger
turf, and therefore obtain more autonomy and prerogatives for his newly
created Federal Bureau of Narcotics (33).
This is a crucial turning point in the history of drug control in the
United States, and even in the world given the ăamericanisation╚
of international drug legislation and the Commissioner═s influence in
international drug control instances (34). Indeed,
from then and up to the early 1960s, law enforcement became practically
the only means through which the government attempted to control drug
use and trafficking. This trend was somewhat reversed with the departure
from office of Anslinger and the rise of a ăhealth╚ bureaucracy
in the 1960s, especially under the administration of John F. Kennedy,
which temporarily imposed the idea that addicts should be treated first
and foremost as medical patients (35). But this
was rapidly mitigated by the major anti-crime legislation that was passed
under the Nixon administration in 1969, notably as a result of the youth
movement that opposed the war in Vietnam and generally rejected the
dominant socio-economic model of the ăconsumer society╚.
This ăcounter-culture╚ of young rebels or would-be rebels
was associated with marijuana, and called for its decriminalisation,
thereby generating fear in mainstream society which has resulted in
a tough reaction by the authorities. President Nixon, who waged America═s
first ăwar on drugs╚, led the reaction. Nixon and the media
put the drugs and crime issue at the centre of the political stage,
identifying drugs as a major cause of crime and declaring America═s
ădrug problem╚ a ănational threat╚. One result
of the Nixon offensive was to reform and expand the antidrug bureaucracy,
notably by establishing DEA in replacement of the Bureau of Narcotics
and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). Then, the Reagan and Bush administrations
of the 1980s and early 1990s declared the new and much more famous ăwar
on drugs╚, which by and large has continued during the Clinton
administration since 1992. The pendulum of state and federal policy
swung back again toward law enforcement, with a vengeance.
The Prison Problem
The tough federal antidrug legislation passed by Congress under the
Bush administration in the 1980s and the Clinton administration in 1995,
and similar state laws, have resulted in an astounding growth in the
country═s prison population. According to the National Drug Control
Strategy published in 1998 by the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(ONDCP), a.k.a. the ăDrug Czar═s Office╚, there were 1,725,842
inmates in American federal and state prisons and local jails in June
1997 (36). Between 1985 and 1995 three-quarters
of the growth in the federal prison population is accounted for by drug
offenders, while ăthe number of inmates in state prisons for drug-law
violations increased by 487 percent over the same period╚ (37).
Although it stresses that ăwhile crime in general continues to
decline, arrests for federal drug-law violations are at record highs╚,
the government lists the staggering incarceration figures under the
heading ăcriminal consequences╚ of ăAmerica═s drug
problem╚ and states that ămany crimes (č) are committed
under the influence of drugs or may be motivated by a need to get money
for drugs╚ (see the research by Goldstein et al. reviewed below)
(38). In the period since 1980 the United States
has built more prisons and incarcerated more people than at any other
time in its history, largely as a result of the ăwar on drugs╚.
About 60% of federal prisoners are drug offenders. In 1991, the United
States was found by researcher Marc Mauer to be the country with the
largest incarceration rate in the world, surpassing Russia and then-apartheid
South Africa (since, Russia has become the first ăincarcerator╚,
the U.S. coming in second) (39). In spite of a
massive investment in correctional facilities by state and federal authorities
resulting in the creation of a ăprison-industrial complex╚
according to some journalists and scholars (40)
the growth of the U.S. prison population has clogged up the criminal
justice system. As a result, the conditions prevailing in U.S. jails
and prisons are inadequate in many instances and have resulted in human
rights abuses that have alarmed organisations such as Amnesty International
and Human Rights Watch, which have launched campaigns against what they
say is widespread police violence and abuse of power (41).
A distinct human rights problem is arising out of recently-adopted
sentencing laws, especially the mandatory minimum sentencing legislation
now in force at the federal level and in all 50 states. Such laws require
prison terms (as opposed to other forms of sanctions) for certain offences,
including most notably drug-law offences, and most stipulate a minimum
number of years the offender must serve. In many states, and most notably
in New York, which pioneered the use of these laws against drug offenders
as early as 1973 (and whose ăzero tolerance╚ policy is currently
seen by many in Europe as a model to follow (42)),
the required minimum for non-violent drug offences is equivalent to,
and in some cases higher than, the sentences usually awarded for violent
crimes such as murder, rape and arson. One federal judge commented ăit
is difficult to believe that the possession of an ounce of cocaine or
a $20 ´street sale═ is a more dangerous or serious offense than the
rape of a ten-year-old, the burning down of a building occupied by people,
or the killing of another human being while intending to cause him serious
injury╚ (43). New York courts must give
any adult convicted of possessing 4 ounces of cocaine or selling 2 ounces
a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison (44).
These laws deny judges their usual discretionary powers when imposing
a sentence, forcing them to hand down the minimum required by law regardless
of any extenuating circumstances. Although these laws were intended
at first to address the disparity between sentences handed down by judges
and the time actually served by those sentenced, and ensure that high-level
drug traffickers be removed from the scene, they have resulted in the
massive jailing of low-level, non-violent, drug offenders, such as street
dealers and mere drug users, for very long prison terms. They have been
found a costly and ineffective form of drug control, mostly because
other minor street dealers immediately replace those who have been incarcerated.
Thus, a Rand Corporation study has concluded that: ămandatory
minimum sentences are not justifiable on the basis of cost-effectiveness
at reducing cocaine consumption, cocaine expenditures, or drug-related
crime╚ (45). A conservative scholar such
as John Dilulio, self-defined as ăone of the few academics with
a kind word for imprisonment╚, recently wrote an article in the
(conservative) National Review concluding that ăwith mandatory
minimums, there is no real suppression of the drug trade, only episodic
substance-abuse treatment of incarcerated drug-only offenders, and hence
only the most tenuous crime-control rationale for imposing prison terms
mandatory or otherwise on any of them╚ (46).
A Human Rights Watch study of the impact of mandatory minimums on low-level
drug offenders in New York state has found that they violate ăthe
inherent dignity of persons, the right to be free of cruel and degrading
punishment, and the right to liberty╚. The 1997 report adds: ăsuch
sentences contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or
Similarly, the so-called ăthree strikes and you═re out╚
laws enacted in many states have been denounced as morally questionable
and shown by research to be costly and of disputable effectiveness.
Such legislation mandates lengthy sentences for repeat felons, prescribing
that felons found guilty of a third serious crime be locked up for 25
years to life. The California law, which went into effect in March 1994,
is probably the most sweeping of these. Although the first two ăstrikes╚
accrue for serious crimes, the crime that triggers the life sentence
can be any felony. In many cases, this felony has been a low-level drug
offence. Furthermore, the law doubles sentences for a second strike,
requires that these extended sentences be served in prison (rather than
in jail or on probation), and limits ăgood time╚ earned
during prison to 20 percent of the sentence given (rather than 50 percent,
as under the previous law). A 1994 Rand study on California has found
the legislation costly compared to alternatives (48).
Another problem linked to the boom of the prison population that the
1998 ONDCP drug control strategy fails to mention but that was revealed
by research, is what Troy Duster calls ăthe darkening of U.S.
prisons╚ (49). This metaphor captures the
fact that Hispanic- and even more so, African-Americans have been incarcerated
at a much higher rate than their White counterparts. There were an estimated
1,471 Black inmates per 100,000 Black residents in 1993 compared to
207 White inmates per 100,000 White residents in 1993, an incarceration
ratio of Blacks to Whites of more than 7 to 1 (50).
In 1994, African-Americans made up approximately 12% of the general
U.S. population, but constituted 44% of the sentenced inmates in state
and federal prisons; Hispanics (10% of the general population) constituted
18% of inmates; while white Americans, who comprised 74% of the total
population only represented 39% of state and federal inmates (51).
All told, Black people of Hispanic and other origins combined made up
50% of the U.S. prison population. The disproportionate impact of recent
ădrug control╚ policies on Blacks is summed up in the following
fact reported by The Sentencing Project, a Washington-based non-governmental
organisation: on any given day in 1994, close to 1 in 3 African-American
men aged 20 to 29 were under the supervision of the criminal justice
system, in prison or jail or on probation or parole, and there were
more Black males in prison than attending university (52).
Nation-wide average figures hide huge regional disparities. For instance,
Dilulio reports that in 1997, ăabout 95 percent of all persons
in New York prisons whose last and most serious conviction was for a
drug offense were black or Hispanic╚ (53).
New York is one of America═s most populated states. This racial problem
is compounded by the fact that half of prison and jail inmates reported
an income of less than $10,000 before their arrest. In other words,
they were poor. A more recent but related problem has been the female
prison population, which grows above the national average, while the
group with the highest growth rate are Black women (54).
Rationale for Punitive Policies
Due to its status as the linchpin of present-day drug control, and
in view of the above-mentioned impact of recent antidrug legislation,
the relationship between drugs and crime has been the focus of abundant
research in the United States, especially during the last ten to fifteen
years. As mentioned above, here ăcrime╚ means unlawful acts
other than drug production, trafficking and use. Indeed, the ăHawk
ascendant╚ (55) which has had the upper
hand on U.S. drug policy since the mid-1980s, and according to which
the best means for the state to fight drugs is to arrest and lock up
traffickers and users (for increasingly longer sentences), has been
largely supported and legitimised by the assumption that drug users
and dealers are despicable criminals who can inflict incredible damages
on society, and as such deserve to be dealt with toughly. In simple
terms, the theory goes like this: drugs lead users to violently deny
others their right to the safe enjoyment of life and private property;
individuals are making a personal choice when they use drugs and therefore
they should be held personally responsible for this choice and its consequences
on others; imprisonment is an adequate means of dealing with them, especially
because it acts (or so the theory goes) as a deterrent against initiating
drug use. Those who supply drugs to others, and therefore induce them
to crime while making a profit, deserve even tougher punishment because
they are viewed as the vectors of the ădrug scourge╚, and
they have a strong incentive (money) to commit this crime; therefore
the deterrent against them needs to be stronger. The following passage
of a 1969 Supreme Court decision illustrates the point:
ăCommercial traffic in deadly mind-soul-and body-destroying
drugs is beyond a doubt one of the greatest evils of our time. It cripples
intellects, dwarfs bodies, paralyzes the progress of a substantial segment
of our society, and frequently makes hopeless and sometimes violent
and murderous criminals of persons of all ages who become its victims.
Such consequences call for the most vigorous laws to suppress the traffic
as well as the most powerful efforts to put these vigorous laws into
Although this theory has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress since
the mid-1980s and justified the allocation of about 70% of the federal
drug control budget to law enforcement, it is more associated with the
conservative forces of U.S. society, which traditionally favour a ălaw
and order╚ approach to problems. On the other side of the political
spectrum, liberal Americans lean toward a ăsocial╚ approach
and, as far as the drug issue is concerned, would prefer that drug users
not be treated as criminals (see above).
It is not possible for this paper to present a sufficiently general
and accurate overview to reflect the extent and diversity of the research
done on this issue during the last ten years (57).
But an issue that has been subject to much scrutiny can be used to illustrate
the point: the effects of drugs on individual criminal behaviour. It
is widely assumed that drug users routinely commit crimes in order to
fund their habit. Another piece of conventional wisdom is that when
people are under the influence of drugs, they loose their inhibitions
and commit crimes, especially violent ones. These notions provide the
basis of current policies that blame illegal substance abuse and trafficking
instead of other factors such as poverty for the high crime
rates prevailing in the United States. Through the media, senior U.S.
officials routinely evoke them in order to rally support for, and justify
the implementation of, the tough approach to drug control known as the
ăWar on Drugs╚ (58). A very famous
illustration is President George Bush═s keynote televised speech on
September 5, 1989. The president, holding a bag of crack he claimed
had been seized ăin a park across the street from the White House╚
a few days earlier, declared that crack was ăturning our cities
into battle zones and murdering our children╚ and announced his
strategy for achieving ăvictory over drugs╚ (59).
But a study carried out with federal funding by Goldstein et al. in
New York City ăAmerica═s crack capital╚ in 1988,
when the ăcrack epidemic╚ received its most intense media
coverage, has shown that both assumptions are exaggerations of a much
more ambiguous reality. Indeed, according to this research on 414 homicides
officially classified as ădrug related╚ by the New York
Police Department (NYPD), ăpsychopharmacological crack-related
homicides╚ (homicides caused by the effects of drugs on the body)
made up only 7.5% of the sample and most were caused by alcohol, crack
being blamed in only 1.2 % of cases; ăeconomic compulsion homicides╚
(homicides caused by the need to fund a habit) represented 2% of the
sample, while the most numerous category of actually drug-related homicides
was that of ăillicit market system homicides╚ (homicides
caused by the ăexigencies of working or doing business in an illicit
market╚) with 39.1%. One additional striking result of the study
was that 47.3% of what NYPD classified as ădrug-related homicides╚
were, in fact, not ădrug-related╚ at all (60).
Needless to say, the results of this study, which was funded by the
National Institute of Justice (see below), are used by advocates of
legalisation/harm-reduction as evidence that current U.S. drug policies
are based on erroneous assumptions regarding the links between drug
use and violence, and that, contrary to conventional wisdom, prohibitive
policies, not drugs, are to blame for the largest proportion of drug-related
violence because they generate a violent underground market.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been mentioned by several
researchers interviewed during the field study as the largest source
of funds for research on the relationship between drugs and crime. The
NIJ is a research institution that was established within the Department
of Justice in 1969 by the legislation voted in reaction to the counter-culture
movement (see above). Today, the NIJ manages what it claims (rightly,
as far as I know) to be the largest research program on drugs and crime
in the world. This program is called the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring
Program (ADAM). It was established in 1997, replacing a earlier similar
project called ăDrug Use Forecasting╚ (DUF), which was launched
in 1987. ADAM is a huge national effort aimed at collecting and analysing
data on drug use among people arrested by county police forces throughout
the United States (61). Incidentally, and as an
illustration of the influence of U.S. methods world-wide, government
institutions in Australia, Chile, England, Scotland and South Africa
have initiated programs modelled on ADAM and requested technical assistance
from NIJ. The latter has developed an international component, I-ADAM,
in order to produce comparative studies (62).
ADAM═s results, like DUF═s before them, show that drug use is far higher
among arrestees than the general population, which establishes a strong
connection between drugs and crime. In turn, this justifies the treatment
of drugs as primarily a crime problem by the authorities. Drugs and
crime are inextricably linked, officials have argued following the line
of argument developed by Harry Anslinger starting in the 1930s. And
indeed, if drug use is higher among offenders, it seems logical to deduct
that drug use leads to the commission of crime.
Or is it? While readily admitting that a nation-wide data collection
effort such as ADAM is positive, some researchers interviewed during
my field work added that ADAM betrays the U.S. federal government ideological
anti-drug bias and its willingness to associate drugs and crime for
reasons that have nothing to do with scientific evidence. Indeed, independent
researchers say that the causal relationship between drugs and crime
is merely a hypothesis that has not been proven true. Two scholars from
the Earl Warren Legal Institute of the University of California at Berkeley,
Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, who have published a highly regarded
study of drug control problems in 1995, even contend that it is untrue
(63). Indeed, they argue that while ăit
is beyond dispute that drug use and crime overlap and interact in a
multiplicity of ways╚ (64), the higher rate
of drug use among offenders could be explained by factors in their personality,
such as a higher propensity for taking risks and ăa willingness
to ignore the threat of moral condemnation╚, that lead them to
both commit crimes and take drugs. In this view, both drugs and crime
are simultaneous but independent consequences of other variables; in
simple terms: it is not drug use that causes crime but rather other
factors that lead the vast majority of those who commit crime to also
take drugs. Zimring and Hawkins add that if the propensity for taking
risks and ignoring condemnation varies from one individual to another,
the same goes for their social environment, which is also a source of
explanations for higher crime rates and higher rates of drug use: ăThe
same sort of covariation can be expected to occur in social settings.
Conditions of social disorganization that invite high levels of predatory
crime prove to be least resistant to the spread of illicit drugs.╚
ăSet and Setting╚: An Essential
Concept in the American Debate
The concept of the social ăset and setting╚ of drug use,
or ăthe characteristics of the conditions of use, the social conditions
that shape such situations and impinge upon the users, and the historically
and culturally specific meanings and motives used to interpret drug
effects (66)╚ is a product of American research,
and it is a crucial notion in the American ădrugs and crime╚
debate. The concept was first developed by Norman Zinberg, Professor
of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, in his 1984 book ăDrug,
Set, and Setting╚ (67), but it can be viewed
as the latest finding of a tradition in American social science research
on drugs inaugurated in the 1940s and 1950s by sociologists Alfred Lindesmith
and Howard Becker. Zinberg concluded from a comparative analysis of
American and British heroin addicts in the late 1960s that the differences
he found between the two groups were ăattributable to their different
social settingsôthat is, to the differing social and legal attitudes
toward heroin in the two countries (68)╚.
Following in-depth interviews with heroin addicts in the 1940s, Lindesmith
argued that there was a cognitive side to heroin addiction: users had
first to feel withdrawal symptoms, recognise them as such, and decide
to take more heroin to relieve them before they became addicted. Without
this discovery, heroin use alone did not always lead to addiction, Lindesmith
concluded (69). Becker, in his famous chapter
on ăBecoming a Marijuana User╚ (first published in 1953)
followed in the steps of Lindesmith, showing that in order to experience
a marijuana ăhigh╚, new users had to be taught by experienced
smokers how to smoke, how to recognise initially ambiguous effects,
and then how to interpret the latter as pleasurable. Becker concluded
that social interaction between users is more important than the chemical
interaction of cannabis with the body in order to account for the effects
of marijuana on users. (70) These concepts run
contrary to an important assumption behind current U.S. (and other countries)
drug policy: drugs are addictive in and of themselves regardless of
the context in which they are used. Hence the charge by some present-day
scholars that policy is ăpharmaco-centric (71)╚
or pervaded by ăpharmacological determinism (72)╚,
because it claims that the problem lies with the substances, not the
people and their environment.
Although originally the concept of ăsocial setting╚ was
invented to account for differences in the behaviour of two sets of
drug abusers, Zimring and Hawkings (see above) and other scholars (73),
have used it to explain higher rates of criminal activity, especially
drug dealing, in some communities. This is another extremely important
element of the drug and crime nexus (and of the American drug control
debate in general), as well as a major cause of disagreement between
researchers and policy-makers. Briefly put, social scientists argue
that drugs are singled out as a convenient scapegoat on which to blame
problems that have other causes. These causes are to be found in the
wider social and economic environment of the communities where drug
activities are rife. Present policies are misguided because they view
drugs as the cause of social problems, when in fact they are a consequence
of these problems. This is mostly the argument made by Richard Clayton
in his study of commercial marijuana cultivation in Appalachian Kentucky.
(74) Clayton argues that the marijuana industry
is one of the ways that the inhabitants of the mountainous areas of
Kentucky have found to survive in the economic poverty that characterises
their region: ăchronic and crushing poverty have produced a pervasive
sense of hopelessness about the future, an alienation and cynical attitude
about the present, and a willingness to do whatever is necessary in
order to get by╚ (75). In another study
of 28 mostly Black- and Latino-owned ădrug businesses╚ in
two inner-city communities of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John Hagedorn argues
along similar lines that ăpoor people in Milwaukee have responded
to the loss of ´good jobs═ by starting thousands of new, mainly off-the-books
businesses. The most profitable business in this informal sector of
our economy, unfortunately, is the business of drug selling╚ (76).
According to Clayton and Hagedorn═s studies, poverty and marginalisation
due to racial, ethnic and/or cultural differences are to blame for the
involvement with drugs of residents of rural and urban economically
deprived areas of the United States.
But probably the best research in this regard, and certainly one that
was quoted as such by most of the researchers interviewed during the
field study, is Philippe Bourgois═s in-depth anthropological study of
a group of Puerto Rican crack entrepreneurs in Spanish Harlem, an economically
deprived area of New York City (77). Bourgois═s
penetrating analysis of ăthe complex relationship between ideological
processes and material reality, and between culture and class╚
broadly confirms that poverty, racial and ethnic prejudice and the absence
of good job opportunities are major factors for the spread of drug use
and trafficking in American cities. But, rejecting such ăaction-reaction╚
structural types of explanation as those advanced by Clayton and Hagedorn,
Bourgois analyses the mechanisms by which some of El Barrio═s residents
seek to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life by getting involved in
the crack business. Bourgois destroys the popular image of a badly socialised
and therefore unemployable ăunderclass╚ ignorant of the
values of mainstream American society, by portraying Spanish Harlem═s
crack businesspeople as ăthe ultimate ´rugged individualists═╚
who are ăfrantically pursuing the American dream╚ through
hard work in the ădynamic, (č) multibillion-dollar underground
economy╚. The American anthropologist shows how illegal entrepreneurship
provides the ădignity╚ that the mainstream economy denies
them. Indeed, given their social and cultural background, all the formal
economy has to offer to inner-city dwellers is what they perceive as
ădemeaning exploitation╚ in low-level, poorly paid jobs,
where their ghetto ways are mocked and frowned upon. But a successful
quest for ărespect╚ in the crack business ărequires
a systematic and effective use of violence against one═s colleagues,
one═s neighbors, and to a certain extent, oneself╚. In the drug
economy of the inner city, a reputation of ruthlessness is necessary
for the smooth and secure running of one═s business because it wards
off aggressive competitors and thieves and enforces the ăcontracts╚
entered into with employees and business partners. In this view, violence
is not a mark of their irrationality but rather ăjudicious public
relations, advertising, rapport building, and long-term investment in
one═s ´human capital═╚ (78). Their survival
and success are dependent upon their capacity for terror. This could
explain why ăillicit market system homicides╚ was the most
numerous category in the above-mentioned study of crack-related homicides
in New York City by Goldstein et al. Bourgois also has developed a concept
to account, at least partially, for the spread of crack abuse in inner-city
ghettos starting in the mid-1980s ô ăconjugated oppression╚.
This he defines as ăan ideological dynamic of ethnic discrimination
that interacts explosively with an economic dynamic of class exploitation
to produce an overwhelming experience of oppression that is more than
the sum of the parts╚ (79). All told, inner-city
residents live in a ăculture of terror╚ akin to that which
was developed as ăa tool for domination and a principal medium
for political practice╚ by the military dictatorship in 1970s
Argentina. The culture of terror affects even the residents who are
not involved in criminal activity since it ăpoisons interpersonal
relations throughout much of the community by legitimizing violence
and mandating distrust╚ (80). The tragic
irony is that unlike Latin America, the inner-city culture of terror
is not imposed by a repressive outside force but self-inflicted as a
result of the pursuit of the American dream. Although Bourgois says
that this is also a ă´culture of resistance═ (č) defined by its
stance against mainstream white, racist, and economically exclusive
society (81)╚, his conclusion is profoundly
pessimistic: ăthe objective, structural desperation of a population
without a viable economy and facing the barriers of systematic discrimination
and marginalization gets channeled into self-destructive practices╚
(82). In his view, present-day American society
generates a ăself-regulating╚ class of social outcasts fed
by the illegal economy who are led to kill one another by their own
culture (terror) and ideology ô the American dream.
The interest of Bourgois═s work is that it lends another dimension
to the American ădrugs and crime nexus╚. It could be argued
that what he describes is a very ruthless type of ăsocial usefulness╚
of the drug trade, in that it subsidises the economy of deprived areas
while substance abuse and self-centred violence keep the ădangerous
classes╚ at bay. Indeed, if drugs were not there, would the ăunderclass╚
not direct its violence against the mainstream society and economy that
reject them? Is the drugs and crime nexus a ămodern╚ type
of social management of the unemployed labour force resulting from the
large-scale shifts in the American economy since the 1980s? These important
questions will not be answered here, but it must be pointed out that
for a proportion of the United States population, drugs seem to play
the same role as in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe
subsidising the economy (83).
The federal government of the United States pioneered international
drug control efforts at the start of the 20th century, and
to this day drugs remain an important foreign policy concern, especially
toward Latin America and in particular NAFTA partner Mexico. As a consequence,
the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and drugs has been the
object of much research by American social scientists, giving rise to
a lively and diverse tradition that is briefly reviewed in the paragraphs
below. The reason historically invoked by U.S. officials to justify
their country═s ănarco-diplomacy╚ is the perceived need
to stop drugs before they enter the United States. ăSupply reduction╚,
as this strategy has been termed in policy and research papers since
the 1980s, can be viewed as a recent avatar of the much longer standing
domestic use of law enforcement as the favoured tool of drug control.
Likewise, those who used to advocate the ătreatment╚ of
addicts instead of their criminalisation, now talk of the need for ădemand
reduction╚ (admittedly, that includes prevention as well as treatment).
Therefore, it appears that the concepts supporting the foreign drug
policy of the U.S. government are a modernised version (and one that
sounds more ăscientific╚) of the old ingredients of the
American debate mentioned earlier in this paper. The fact that these
terms are now used throughout the international community is one more
illustration of the influence the United States carries in the field
The earliest trace of a paper about drug policy published in an American
journal that this writer has found is Raymond Buell═s 1925 critical
assessment of the intransigence of American diplomats toward foreign
counterparts during the conferences on opium at the League of Nations
in Geneva in the 1920s (84). Buell wrote that
American representatives at one of the conferences, which aimed at establishing
a form of international control on the opium trade, were asking for
many important concessions, which their counterparts refused to grant.
As a result, the American delegation angrily left the negotiating table.
True, Buell═s paper is better described as political commentary than
as research, and Foreign Affairs, which published it, is more
a forum for debating U.S. foreign policy options than a social science
journal (although social scientists often write in it). Nevertheless,
in retrospect Buell═s scolding of the attitude of American officials
in a diplomatic meeting on the question of opium control can be viewed
as an important landmark. One reason is that it is the first occurrence
of what would become a permanent feature in U.S. research: criticising
a federal government position because it makes things worse, not better.
In this instance, Buell describes American intransigence in Geneva
as irrational given the international context at the time because instead
of working for a compromise, which would have meant a step toward fulfilling
its objectives, the U.S. delegation preferred to take a high moral stand
and forfeit the furtherance of its goals. Buell describes this as a
setback for international opium control efforts, which the United States
itself had initiated some 15 years earlier at the Shangai conference
of 1909. A second and more specific reason why Buell═s article is important
here is that it is also the first recorded trace of scholarly commentary
on American ănarco-diplomacy╚, even if it was not yet so
named at the time. Again, Buell═s harsh criticism seems in retrospect
to be the start of a stream in American social science writing that
is still very much vivid today, albeit more diversified.
Research: Summary Review
The vast majority of present research focuses on United States-Latin
American relations and is mostly concerned with cocaine, while in the
1960s and 1970s it was Asia and heroin that preoccupied researchers
and policy-makers. Broadly speaking, present-day scholars working on
U.S. foreign policy all agree that it is flawed, but for different reasons.
Three categories of research can be identified. The first and largest
category is made up of what could be called the self-appointed ăadvisors╚
of the federal government. Probably the best-known representative of
this category is Bruce Bagley, who is working in the field of International
Relations (85). From a variety of angles, these
authors evaluate the policies implemented by Washington and criticise
U.S. narco-diplomacy as ill-adapted to fulfil its officially stated
objective of reducing the supply of drugs coming from Latin America
into the United States. This is because the U.S. strategy itself is
flawed and because other, more important, U.S. foreign-policy priorities,
such as economic policy, are in contradiction with it (86).
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, most of the attention was focused
on Mexico (87), while in the mid-1980s, with Reagan═s
and Bush═s war on cocaine and the war against ăcommunist subversion╚
in Central America, Andean countries came to the foreground (88).
With the advent of NAFTA in 1994, Mexico has attracted much interest
in both political and research circles (see below) (89).
A second category of authors are concerned with the negative consequences
of U.S. narco-diplomacy in Latin America, mainly its adverse impact
on human rights and, with the U.S.-promoted militarisation of the ădrug
war╚ in Andean countries and Mexico, on democracy (90).
Perhaps the most consistent examples of such U.S. narco-diplomacy critics
are to be found in the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) (91),
while human rights violations resulting from U.S.-promoted drug enforcement
tactics in foreign countries have also attracted negative comments from
Human Rights organisations (92).
Finally, the third category is made up of authors who study the links
between American federal agencies, especially the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), and drug trafficking outside the United States (93).
Like their most famous representative, historian Alfred McCoy, these
authors contend that recent American drug ăepidemics╚ are
due to CIA complicity with foreign drug producers and traffickers, and
they denounce the war on drugs as a fraud.
and the United States
One of the MOST network members, Mexican sociologist Luis Astorga,
has written chapters in two forthcoming volumes, which, judging from
their introductions that the editors kindly have made available, appear
as important contributions in contemporary U.S. research on drugs. Astorga═s
participation and the originality of the books amply justify that they
be briefly commented upon here.
The first volume, ăOrganized Crime & Democratic Governability
in Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands╚, is edited by political
scientists John Bailey and Roy Godson (94). Its
importance lies in the fact that, for the first time as far as this
writer knows, leading American political scientists critically examine
the links between government and organised crime, not only in Mexico
but in the United States as well. Although the book restricts its focus
to the impact of organised crime in the American border area (as opposed
to the United States as a whole), it is significant because it can be
seen as reversing a long-standing trend in American discourse on the
drugs issue. Indeed, judging from most past press and research reports,
casual observers could have thought that the United States was immune
from the ăthreat╚ of large-scale drug trafficking and money
laundering organisations that their politicians and bureaucrats have
denounced so vocally in Latin America, especially Mexico (95).
As Bailey and Godson understate in their introduction to the volume:
ăThis is a point of some controversy, in that Mexican critics
have long been skeptical that U.S.-based, Anglo-dominated criminal groups
would allow such immensely profitable operations to be run by Mexicans╚
(96). This is all we will say about this interesting
forthcoming collective volume here, since its focus on one part of the
world is perhaps too narrow to be of interest to all MOST members.
By contrast, the second collective volume, ăCocaine: Global Histories╚,
edited by Paul Gootenberg, Professor of history at the State University
New York (SUNY), has a global scope and raises issues that should attract
the attention of all MOST researchers (97). Alongside
essays on the United States, Peru, Japan (and South East Asia), the
Netherlands (and Java), Germany, the United Kingdom and Colombia, Astorga
has written the chapter on Mexico. It must be noted that all the chapters
are based on original archival research as the authors are convinced
that ănew stories lie hiding in archives around the world, that
take us behind and beyond received narratives about cocaine╚ (98).
Astorga═s socio-historical studies of drug trafficking in Mexico are
excellent illustrations of the usefulness of archives for new approaches
to drug problems (99). ăCocaine: Global
Histories╚ studies how cocaine has passed from the status of medical
miracle to that of dangerous enemy of most countries and the international
community in about 100 years or, as Gootenberg puts it, ăjust
how is it that drugs get redefined as socially menacing╚. One
of the book═s many interests is Gootenberg═s impressive historiography
of scientific research into cocaine since the 1860s. Building from this
legacy, but firmly rooted in the present (the ăAge of Crack╚),
the book sets out to inaugurate a ăthird wave╚ of research
into cocaine, the foundations of which Gootenberg defines in the introduction.
From the outset, the book announces its ăskepticism about prohibition
as sound drug policy and about the discourse and categories deployed
and left by anti-drug crusaders, past and present╚, which are
thought of as ăsocial-scientifically futile, actively misguided
or morally tragic╚. Dissatisfaction with U.S. drug policy has
been a historical hallmark of drug research in America, as this paper
has tried to show. However, Gootenberg stresses that his objective is
not political advocacy, but methodological consistency by clearly identifying
the object of the book, which is to study a ăsystem Prohibitions
so as to analyze its origins as a system and its systematic, if
often unintended, consequences╚. The book thereby takes on board
present research concerns in the United States, while its authors rely
on concepts that have emerged out of American social science, some of
which have been mentioned in this paper. For instance, while explaining
the ăconstructionist╚ epistemological approach of the book,
Gootenberg calls forth the classic concept of ăset and setting╚,
which comes from American sociology and psychiatry (see above), and
shows its relevance for history, too: ăHistory and national cultures,
in an enlarged sense, are arguably social set and settings of the largest
kind╚. In this view, drugs are first and foremost social animals,
which justifies the book═s constructionist approach since, contrary
to claims by American (and most other) policy-makers, ădrugs are
made, not born, and borne largely from cultural and political circumstances╚,
while ănaturalized notions of ´good═ and ´bad═ drugs and narcotic
´control═ (č) might well be about other things and cry out for critical
Finally, possibly the most important contribution of the book, and
certainly one that will please MOST members, is the notion that drugs
should now be a ăcentral╚ concern of historical research
because they are ăone field where the ongoing contest between
structural and post-structural historical thinking might find some creative
common ground╚. However, Gootenberg appears overly restrictive
in limiting the usefulness of drug studies to opening new perspectives
in history only. It is hard to see why the increasing relevance of cultural-studies
and linguistic methodological approaches he evokes in support of the
volume═s own approach should not also be useful in other spheres of
social science in order to open much needed new fields of drug research,
precisely because drug studies require ăan appreciation of both
the rational ´interests═ and irrational ´passions═ that met in their
making, i.e. their realities and their representations, their
settings and special powers╚. Gootenberg═s well-crafted
argumentation reveals the special research status of drugs, their uniqueness
as a depository where both passion and reason meet and interact (101)
(ădrugs are protean and relational things and cultural magnets
for charged meanings╚), and that research times are ripe
for such subjects. This will be heartening to social scientists specialising
in drug studies worldwide, who are too often viewed as ămavericks╚
by their peers.
This paper has attempted to present an overview of the problems raised
by drugs in the United States by reviewing current issues and their
historical sources. It has suggested that the United States is the largest
producer of drug research in the world, while it is also the world═s
only ădrug-control superpower╚. However, the simultaneous
leadership in social science and world agenda-setting is not the result
of a symbiotic relationship between American research and policy-making.
On the contrary, it was found that historically U.S. policy has been
largely immune from the influence of research, even government-funded
research, while a vast proportion of American social science research
on drugs has been focused primarily on policy, which has been viewed
as a crucial element of America═s drug problem. While they have not
been able to achieve their official objective of reducing drug abuse,
current U.S. drug policy has resulted in the imprisonment of a large
proportion of the American population, mostly poor members of ethnic
and racial minorities. Researchers have found that the causal relationship
between drugs and crime that serves as the basis and ărationale╚
for present policies has been vastly exaggerated. In addition, the stringent
law-and-order approach adopted by the various levels of U.S. government
has been found to be too costly in financial terms, while its enforcement
has led to what appears to be widespread human rights abuse, and charges
of racial and ethnic prejudice that historians say have been a permanent
feature of American drug control since its origins in the late 19th
Other scholars (most notably those of the Drug Policy Research Center
of the Rand Corporation), have argued that the drug phenomenon is not
amenable to control by means of legislation. In this view, any drug
control policy, whether based on prohibition or legalisation, is a futile
effort. However, the same researchers have stressed that American policy-makers
have been ănegligent╚ in not properly assessing the consequences
of the policies they have implemented.
Some scholars maintain that U.S. drug policy is ăpharmaco-centric╚,
meaning that it wrongly assumes that the problem lies with the substances,
not the people and their social, cultural, ideological and economic
environment (ăset and setting╚). Thus, many social scientists
say that policy has been geared toward suppressing the symptoms of deeper
social problems in U.S. society rather than attacking the root causes,
which explains the failure of government action. In their view, drugs
have been singled out as a convenient scapegoat on which to blame and
explain away some of the more disturbing problems experienced by American
society. The mirror-image of this charge could be to say that American
drug policy has been ăasociological╚, or even ăanti-sociological╚
considering the general disregard it has shown for the social and economic
conditions of the majority of those who are imprisoned under American
drug laws. But yet another school of research suggests that this assertion
is flawed by insisting that drug control policy is not aimed at controlling
drugs but rather the ădangerous classes╚ that American mainstrean
society has historically associated them with. Bourgois═s research has
shed a different kind of light on the relationship between drugs, poverty
and racial/ethnic exclusion in present-day America. By convincingly
arguing that drugs have given rise to a ăculture of terror╚
that could be viewed as an internalised and self-imposed mechanism of
control, Bourgois joins Peter Reuter and his colleagues in concluding
that, even for the purpose of class control, harsh law enforcement is
a futile exercise.
Clearly, given the number and diversity of objective and subjective
factors at play, there are no easy answers to the drug problem. But
if one conclusion can be reached at the end of this report, it is that
the drug issue has given rise to a century-long conflict between politics
and research. The history of drug control in America seems to prove
true Gootenberg═s claim that drugs must be viewed as the locus of passion
and reason. The fact that so far reason has failed to bring passion
under ăcontrol╚ in the United States suggests that MOST═s
objectives will not be easily achieved and highlights the need for more
programs like it.
on Drug Trafficking and Related Issues in the United States (1989-1999)
This bibliography covers books and articles on various aspects of drug
trafficking and drug policy published in the United States between 1989
and 1999. The literature is listed by alphabetical order by author═s
name and organised into ten sections: Drug-Control Policy and Criminal
Justice Issues; International Relations; Security and
Military Issues; Money Laundering; History; Anthropology/Sociology;
Latin American Studies, Bibliographical Issues; Marijuana;
and Economics of Drug Trafficking and Use. Some sections are
broken down into subsections when both the variety of issues tackled
and the number of entries made it possible. Although in many cases the
classification is arbitrary because some works ăstraddle╚
several categories it is hoped that it reflects the comparative
richness and diversity of research on drug trafficking and related issues
in the United States.
Caveat emptor: Although large, this bibliography does not claim
to be exhaustive. The literature covered is that which I became aware
of during a one-month study trip to the United States in April/May 1999.
Apologies are offered to the authors whose work should have been listed
here and is not.
Laurent Laniel, Paris, June 1999
DRUG CONTROL POLICY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
1. Methodological and Economic Issues
BUREAU OF JUSTICE ASSISTANCE: Lessons Learned from the Organized
Crime Narcotics (OCN) Trafficking Enforcement Program Model, BJA
Monograph, Department of Justice, Washington, December 1998.
CAULKINS, J. RYDELL, P. EVERINGHAM, S., CHIESA, J. & BUSHWAY, S.:
An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Uncertainty: The Cost-Effectiveness
of School-Based Drug Prevention Programs, RAND, Santa Monica, 1999.
CAULKINS, J.: ăWhat Does Mathematical Modeling Tell Us About
Harm Reduction?╚, in Drug and Alcohol Review, Vol. 15,
ô ăDealing With the Country's Drug Problem╚, in OR/MS
Today, February, 1995.
ô ăEvaluating the Effectiveness of Interdiction and Source
Country Control╚, paper presented at the Economics of the Narcotics
Industry Conference, 1994.
ô & REUTER, P.: ăSetting Goals for Drug Policy: Harm Reduction
or Use Reduction?╚, in Addiction, Vol. 92, No. 9, 1997.
ô & REUTER, P.: ăThe Meaning and Utility of Drug Prices╚,
Vol. 91, No. 9, 1996.
ô CRAWFORD, G. & REUTER, P.: ăSimulation of Adaptive Response:
A Model of Drug Interdiction╚, in Mathematical and Computer
Modelling, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1993.
ô EBENER, P. & McCAFFREY, D.: ăDescribing DAWN's Dominion╚,
in Contemporary Drug Problems, Vol. 22, No. 3, 1995.
DiNARDO, J.: ăLaw Enforcement, the Price of Cocaine and Cocaine
Use╚, in Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Vol. 17, No.
DRUG STRATEGIES: Keeping Score 1998, Washington, 1998.
ô Keeping Score 1996, Drug Strategies, Washington, 1996.
ô Keeping Score 1995, Drug Strategies , Washington, 1996.
GREENWOOD, P.: ăStrategies for Improving the Coordination between
Enforcement and Treatment Efforts in Controlling Illegal Drug Use╚,
in Journal of Drug Issues, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1995.
HAAGA, J., & REUTER, P. (eds.): Improving Data for Federal Drug
Policy Decisions, RAND, Santa Monica, January 1991.
KAHAN, J., RYDELL, P. & SETEAR, J.: ăA Game of Urban Drug
Policy╚, in Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology,
Vol. 1, No. 3, 1995.
ô SETEAR, J., BITZINGER, M., COLEMAN, S. & FEINLEIB, J.: Developing
Games of Local Drug Policy, RAND, Santa Monica, 1992.
MacKENZIE, D. & UCHIDA, C. (eds.): Drugs and Crime: Evaluating
Public Policy Initiatives, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1994.
MURPHY, P.: Coordinating Drug Policy at the State and Federal Levels,
Research Brief, RAND Drug Policy Research Center, RB-6005, Santa Monica,
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE: Department of Justice and Department
of Defense Joint Technology Program: Second Anniversary Report,
Research Report, Department of Justice, Washington, February 1997.
RASMUSSEN, D. & BERSON, R.: The Economic Anatomy of a Drug War,
Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 1994.
REUTER, P.: ăSetting Priorities: Budget and Program Choices for
Drug Control╚, in The University of Chicago Legal Forum,
ô ăPrevalence Estimation and Policy Formulation╚, in
Journal of Drug Issues, Vol. 23, No. 2, 1993.
ô ăThe Limits and Consequences of U.S. Foreign Drug Control
Efforts╚, in The Annals, Vol. 521, 1992.
ô & MacCOUN, R.: ăHarm Reduction and Social Policy: Should
Addicts Be Paid?╚, in Drug and Alcohol Review, Vol. 15,
RYDELL, P., CAULKINS, J. & EVERINGHAM, S.: ăEnforcement or Treatment:
Modeling the Relative Efficacy of Alternatives for Controlling Cocaine╚,
in Operations Research, Vol. 44, No. 5, September-October 1996.
RYDELL, P. & EVERINGHAM, S.: Controlling Cocaine: Supply versus
Demand Programs, RAND, Santa Monica, 1994.
THORNTON, M.: The Economics of Prohibition, University of Utah
Press, Salt Lake City, 1991.
2. The Drug Policy debate
ANDREAS, P., BERTRAM, E., BLACHMAN & M. SHARPE, K.: Drug War
Politics: The Price of Denial, University of California Press, Berkeley
and Oxford, 1996.
BAUM, D.: Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of
Failure, Little & Brown, Boston, 1996.
BAUMGARTNER, F. & JONES, B.: Agendas and Instability in American
Politics, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1993.
BAYER, R. & OPPENHEIMER, G.: Confronting Drug Policy: Illicit
Drugs in a Free Society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and
New York, 1993.
BENJAMIN, D. & MILLER, R.L.: Undoing Drugs: Beyond Legalization,
BasicBooks, New York, 1991.
BENSON, B. & RASMUSSEN, D.: Illicit Drugs and Crime, The
Independent Institute, Oakland, 1996.
BICKEL, W. & DEGRANDPRE, R. (eds.): Drug Policy and Human Nature:
Psychological Perspectives on the Control, Prevention, and Treatment
of Illicit Drug Use, Plenum Press, New York, 1996.
BOAZ, D.: The Crisis in Drug Prohibition, Cato Institute, Washington,
BUGLIOSI, V.: The Phoenix Solution: Getting Serious about Winning
America's Drug War, Dove Books, Beverley Hills, 1996.
DUKE, S. & GROSS, A.: America═s Longest War: Rethinking our
Tragic Crusade against Drugs, Putnam, New York, 1993.
EVANS, R. & BERENT, M.: Drug Legalization: For and Against,
Open Court, La Salle, 1992.
FALCO, M.: The Making of a Drug-Free America: Programs that Work,
Times Books, New York, 1992.
ô Winning the Drug War: A National Strategy, Priority Press,
New York, 1989.
INCIARDI, J.: Handbook of Drug Control in the United States, Greenwood
Press, New York, 1990.
ô & McBRIDE, D.: ăLegalization: A High-Risk Alternative
in the War on Drugs╚, in American Behavioral Scientist,
Vol. 32, 1989.
KAHAN, J.: Can Gaming of Social Policy Issues Help Translate Good Intentions
into Change? RAND, Drug Policy Research Center Issue Paper, Santa
KLEIMAN, M.: Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results, Basic
Books, New York, 1992.
ô ăNeither Prohibition nor Legalization╚, in Daedalus,
Vol. 121, No. 3, 1992.
KORNBLUM, W.: ăDrug Legalization and the Minority Poor╚, in
Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3, 1991.
KRASKA, P. (ed.): Altered States of Mind: a Critical Observation
of the Drug War, Garland Publishers, New York, 1993.
KRAUSS, M. & LAZEAR, E. (eds.): Searching for Alternatives:
Drug Control Policy in the United States, Hoover Institution Press,
LETWIN, M.: ăReport from the Frontline: The Bennet Plan, Street-Level
Drug Enforcement in New York City and the Legalization Debate╚,
in Hofstra Law Review, No.18, 1990.
LEVINE, H. & REINARMAN, C.: ăFrom Prohibition to Regulation:
Lessons from Alcohol Policy for Drug Policy╚, in Milbank Quarterly,
Vol. 69, No. 3, 1991.
LONG, R.E., Drugs in America, H.W. Wilson, New York, 1993.
LYMAN, M. & POTTER, G.: Drugs in Society: Causes, Concepts,
and Control, Anderson Publishing, Cincinatti, 1991.
MacCOUN, R..: ăDrugs and the Law: A Psychological Analysis of
Drug Prohibition╚, in
Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 113, No. 3, 1993.
ô KAHAN, J., GILLESPIE, J. & RHEE, J.: ăA Content Analysis
of the Drug Legalization Debate╚, in Journal of Drug Issues,
Vol. 23, No. 4, 1993.
MacCOUN, R. &: REUTER P.: ăDrug Control╚, in TONRY, M.
(ed.): The Handbook of Crime and Punishment, Oxford University
Press, Oxford and New York, 1998.
ô ăInterpreting Dutch Cannabis Policy: Reasoning by Analogy
in the Legalization Debate╚, in Science, Vol. 278, 3 October
ô & SCHELLING, T.: ăAssessing Alternative Drug Control
Regimes╚, in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management,
Vol. 15, No. 3, June 1996.
MASSING, M.: The Fix, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998.
McSHANE, M. & WILLIAMS, F (eds.): Drug Use and Drug Policy,
Garland Publishers, New York, 1997.
MIECZKOWSKI, T. (ed.): Drugs, Crime, and Social Policy: Research,
Issues, and Concerns, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 1992.
MOORE, M.: ăDrugs: Getting a Fix on the Problem and the Solution╚,
in Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 8, 1990.
MURPHY, P.: Keeping Score: The Frailties of the Federal Drug Budget,
RAND Drug Policy
Research Center Issue Paper, IP-138, Santa Monica, January 1994.
NADELMANN, E.: ăCommonsense Drug Policy╚, Foreign Affairs,
Vol.77, No.1, January/February 1998.
ô ăThinking Seriously About Alternatives to Drug Prohibition╚,
in Daedalus, Vol. 121, No. 3, 1992.
ô ăLegalization is the Answer╚, in Issues in Science
and Technology, summer 1990.
ô ăDrug Prohibition in the United States: Costs, Consequences
and Alternatives╚, in Science, September 1, 1989.
PETERSON, R.: The Success of Tough Law Enforcement, Vestal, New
SKOLNICK, J.: ăRethinking the Drug Problem╚, in Daedalus,
Vol. 121, No. 3, 1992.
REINARMAN, C. & LEVINE, H. (eds.): Crack in America, Demon Drugs
and Social Justice, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los
Angeles and London, 1997.
REUTER, P.: ăWhy Can═t We Make Prohibition Work Better? Some
Consequences of Ignoring the Unattractive, in Proceedings of the
American Philosophical Society, Vol. 141, No.3, September 1997.
ô & CAULKINS, J.: ăRedefining the Goals of National Drug
Policy: Report of a Working Group╚, in American Journal of
Public Health, Vol. 85, No. 8, 1995.
ô ăHawks Ascendant: The Punitive Trend of American Drug Policy╚,
in Daedalus, Vol. 121, No.3, Summer 1992.
ô & HAAGA, J.: ăThe Limits of the Czar's Ukase: Drug Policy
at the Local Level,"
in Yale Law and Policy Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1990.
SHARP, E.: The Dilemma of Drug Policy in the United States, HarperCollins,
New York, 1994.
STERLING, E.: ăDrug Policy of a Failed User╚, in Legal
Times: Law and Lobbying in the Nation═s Capital, May 22 1995.
ô ăIs the Bill of Rights a Casualty of the War on Drugs?╚,
Paper presented at the 92nd Annual Convention of the Colorado
Bar Association, Aspen, September 14, 1990.
SZASZ, T.: Our Right to Drugs: The case for a Free Market, Praeger,
New York, 1992.
THEVENOT, C.: Crises of the Anti-Drug Effort, 1999, Criminal
Justice Policy Foundation, Washington, 1999.
TREBACH, A.: ăTough Choices: The Practical Politics of Drug Policy
Reform╚, in American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 32, 1989.
ô & ZEESE, K. (eds.): Strategies for Change: New directions
in Drug Policy, Drug policy Foundation, Washington, 1994.
ô New frontiers in Drug Policy, The Drug Policy Foundation,
Washington, D.C., 1991.
ô The Great Issues of Drug Policy, The Drug Policy Foundation,
Washington, D.C., 1990.
ô Drug Prohibition and the Conscience of Nations, The Drug
Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1990.
WALTERS, J. & O═GARA, J.: The Clinton Administration═s Continuing
Retreat in the War on Drugs, The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder
Update No.279, Washington, July 1996.
WARNER, K.: ăLegalizing Drugs: Lessons from (and about) Economics╚,
in Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4, 1991.
WEATHERBURN, D. & LIND, B.: ăDrug Law Enforcement Policy
and its Impact on the Heroin Market╚, in Addiction, Vol.
V, No.92, 1996.
WILSON, J.: ăAgainst the Legalization of Drugs╚, in Commentary,
WISOTSKY, S.: Beyond the War on Drugs: Overcoming of a Failed Public
Policy, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 1990.
ZIMRING, F. & HAWKINS, G.: The Search for Rational Drug Control,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York and Melbourne, 1995.
3. General Criminal Justice Issues
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION: The State of Criminal Justice: An Annual
Report, Washington, DC, 1993.
ô The Community Anti-Drug Coalition Initiative, Special Committee
on the Drug Crisis, Washington, DC, 1991.
BECKETT, K.: Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American
Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1997.
BELENKO, S., FAGAN, J. & CHIN, K.L.: ăCriminal Justice Responses
to Crack╚, in Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency,
Vol. 28, February 1991.
BELENKO, S., NICKERSON, G. & RUBENSTEIN, T.: Crack and the New
York Courts: A Study of Judicial Responses and Attitudes, New York
City Criminal Justice Agency, New York, December 1990.
BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS: Drugs, Crime and the Justice System:
A National Report, Government Printing Office, Washington, December
CARTER, D.: ăDrug-related Corruption of Police Officers: A Contemporary
Typology╚, in Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 18, 1990.
DONZINGER, S. (ed.): The Real War on Crime: The Report of the National
Criminal Justice Commission, HarperPerrenial, New York, 1996.
FINN, P. & NEWLYN, A.: Miami═s ăDrug Court╚: A Different
Approach, National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC, 1993.
GAINES, L. & KRASKA, P.: Drugs, Crime, and Justice: Contemporary
Perspectives, Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, 1997.
GOLDKAMP, J. & WEILAND, D.: Assessing the Impact of Dade County═s
Felony Drug Court, National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC,
GOLDSTEIN, P.: ăDrugs and Violent Crime╚, in WEINER, N.
& WOLFGANG, M.: Pathways to Criminal Violence, Sage Publications,
Newbury Park, 1989.
INCIARDI, J. (ed.): Drug Treatment and Criminal Justice Issues,
Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, 1993.
IRWIN, J. & AUSTIN, J.: It═s About Time: America═s Imprisonment
Binge, Wadsworth, Belmont, 1994.
MAUER, M.: Americans Behind Bars: U.S. and International Use of
Incarceration, 1995, The Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C., 1997
(this is an update of similar studies published since 1991).
MOORE, M.: ăDrugs, the Criminal Law, and the Administration of
Justice, in Milbank Quarterly, Vol.69, No.4, 1991.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE: When Neighbors Go to Jail: Impact
on Attitudes About Formal and Informal Social Control, NIJ Research
Preview, Department of Justice, Washington, July 1999.
ô National Evaluation of Weed and Seed, NIJ Research in Brief,
Department of Justice, Washington, June 1999.
ô Reducing Crime and Drug Dealing by Improving Place Management:
A Randomized Experiment, NJI Research in Brief, Department of
Justice, Washington, January 1999.
ô 1998 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile Arrestees,
Research Report, Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program (ADAM), Department
of Justice, Washington, April 1999.
ô COWLES, E., CASTELLANO, T. & GRANSKY, L.: ăBoot Camp╚
Drug Treatment and Aftercare Interventions: An Evaluation Review,
NIJ Research in Brief, Department of Justice, Washington, July 1995.
ô MAXSON, C.: Street Gangs and Drug Sales in Two Suburban Cities,
NIJ Research in Brief, Department of Justice, Washington, July 1995.
ô HEPBURN, J., JOHNSTON, W. & ROGERS, S.: Do Drugs, Do Time:
An Evaluation of the Maricopa County Demand Reduction Program,
NIJ Research in Brief, Department of Justice, Washington, October
ô DUNWORTH, T. & SAIGER, A.: Drugs and Crime in Public Housing:
A Three-City Analysis, NIJ Research Report, Department of Justice,
SADOVSKY BAGGINGS, D.: Drug Hate and the Corruption of American Justice,
Praeger, New York, 1998.
SCHLOSSER, E.: ăThe Prison-Industrial Complex╚, in The
Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 282, No.6, December 1998.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: An Ananlysis of Non-Violent Drug Offenders
with Minimal Criminal Histories, Government Printing Office, Washington,
WEISEL, D.: Police Antidrug Tactics: New Approaches and Applications,
Police Executive Research Forum, Washington, 1996.
WEISHEIT, R. (ed.): Drugs, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System,
Anderson Publishing Company, Cincinnati, 1990.
WILSON, J. & TONRY, M. (eds.): Drugs and Crime (Crime and Justice,
Vol 13), University of Chicago Press, Evanston, 1991.
ô Drugs and Crime: Review of Research, University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, 1990.
4. Sentencing and Human Rights issues
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: United States: Human Rights Concerns in the
Border Region with Mexico, AMR 51/03/98, May 1998.
ô Police Brutality and Excessive Force in the New York Police
Department, AMR 51/36/96, June 1996.
CAULKINS, J., RYDELL, P., SCHWABE, W. & CHIESA, J.: Mandatory Minimum
Drug Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers═ Money?, RAND,
Santa Monica, 1997.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE: ăThree Strikes and You═re Out╚:
A Review of State Legislation, NIJ Research in Brief, Department
of Justice, Washington, September 1997.
DILULIO, J.: ăAgainst Mandatory Minimums: The Disaster of Drug-Sentencing
Laws╚, in National Review, May 17, 1999.
DiMASCIO, W.: Seeking Justice: Crime and Punishment in America,
The Edna McConnel Clark Foundation, New York, 1997.
FAMM: History of Mandatory Minimums, Families Against Mandatory
Minimums (FAMM), Washington, 1998.
ô What═s Wrong with Mandatory Minimum Sentences, Families Against
Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Washington, 1992.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Cruel and Usual: Disproportionate Sentences for
New York Drug Offenders, Human Rights Watch Report, Vol.9, No.2(B),
Human Rights Violations in the United States, New York, March 1997.
HUSAK, D.: Drugs and Rights, Cambridge University Press, New
GREENWOOD, P.: Three Strikes and You're Out: Estimated Costs and
Benefits of California's New Mandatory-Sentencing Law, RAND, Santa
MEIERHOEFER, B.: The General Effect of Mandatory Minimum Prison
Terms: A Longitudinal Study of Federal Sentences Imposed, Federal
judicial Center, Washington, 1992.
MUSCOREIL, K.: New York═s Rockefeller Drug Laws, The November
Coalition, Colville, April/May 1998.
UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing
Policy, Government Printing Office, Washington DC, February 1995.
5. Race, Ethnicity and Gender issues
BROWN, R.: ăThe Black Community and the ´War on Drugs═╚,
in TREBACH, A. & ZEESE, K. (eds.): The Great Issues of Drug Policy,
The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1990.
CANY & NYSCCJ: Imprisoned Generation, A Report by the Correctional
Association of New York & the New York State Coalition for Criminal
Justice, New York, 1990.
EDSALL, T. with EDSALL, M.: Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race,
Rights and Taxes on American Politics, W.W. Norton, New York, 1991.
FREEMAN, R.: ăCrime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youth╚,
National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 3875, Washington,
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WEIR, W.: In the Shadow of the Dope Fiend: America's War on Drugs,
Archon Books, North Haven, 1995.
WHITESIDE, H.: Menace in the West: Colorado and the American Experience
with Drugs, 1873-1963, Colorado Historical Society, Denver, 1997.
ADLER, P.: Land of Opportunity: One Family═s Quest for the American
Dream in the Age of Crack, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1995.
ô Wheeling and Dealing: An Ethnography of an Upper-Level Drug
Dealing and Smuggling Community, Columbia University Press, New
BACHMAN, J., WALLACE, J., O═MALLEY, P., JOHNSTON, L., CANDACE, K. &
NEIGHBORS, H.: ăRace/Ethnic Differences in Smoking, Drinking, and
Illicit Drug Use Among American High-School Seniors, 1976-89╚, in
American Journal of Public Health, No.81, 1991.
BENNETT, W.: Drug Policy and the Intellectuals, Speech at the
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, December 11, 1989.
BOURGOIS, P.: In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York and Melbourne, 1995.
BREWTON, P.: The Mafia, CIA & George Bush, SPI Books, New York
- ăIn Search of Respect: The New Service Economy and the Crack
Alternative in Spanish Harlem╚, Working Paper No.21, Russel
Sage Foundation, New York, 1991.
CERVANTES, R. (eds.): Substance Abuse and Gang Violence, Sage,
Newbury Park, 1992.
CLIFTON, M.: There Goes the Neighborhood, Prescott Press, Lafayette,
CURRIE, E.: Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future,
Hill and Wang, New York, 1993.
FAUPEL, C.: Shooting Dope: Career Patterns of Hard-Core Heroin Users,
University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 1991.
GLICK, R. & MOORE, J. (eds.): Drugs in Hispanic Communities,
Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1990.
GOLDSTEIN, P., BROWNSTEIN, P. & BELLUCCI, P.: ăCrack and
Homicide in New York City, 1988: A Conceptually Based Event Analysis╚,
in Contemporary Drug Problems, , Vol. 16, 1989.
GţMEZ, L.: Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors,
and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure, Temple University Press,
GORDON, D.: The Return of the Dangerous Classes: Drug Prohibition
and Policy Politics, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1994.
HARREL, A. & PETERSON, G. (eds.): Drugs, Crime, and Social Isolation:
Barriers to Urban Opportunities, Urban Institute Press, Washington,
HUMPHREYS, K. & RAPAPORT, J.: ăFrom the Community Mental
Health Movement to the War on Drugs: A Study in the Definition of Social
Problems╚, in American Psychologist, Vol. 48, Nľ.
JACOBS, B. & GEISS, G. (EDS.): Dealing Crack: The Social World
of Streetcorner Selling, Northeastern University Press, Boston,
JOHNS, C.J.: Power, Ideology, and the War on Drugs: Nothing Succeeds
like Failure, Praeger, New York, 1992.
KANDEL, D.: ăThe Social Demography of Drug Use╚, in
Milbank Quarterly, Vol.69, No.4, 1991.
MANDERSON, D.: ăMetamorphosis: Clashing Symbols in the social
construction of drugs╚, in The Journal of Drug Issues,
MURPHY, S., WALDORF, D. & REINARMAN, C.: ăDrifting into Dealing:
Becoming a Cocaine Seller╚, in Qualitative Sociology, No.13,
REINARMAN, C.: ăThe Social Construction of Drug Scares╚,
in ADLER, P. & ADLER, P. (eds.): Constructions of Deviance,
Wadsworth, Belmont, 1994.
ô ăGlasnost in U.S. Drug Policy?: Clinton Constrained╚,
in International Journal of Drug Policy, No.5, 1994.
RUMBARGER, J.: Profit, Power and Prohibition: Alcohol Reform and the
Industrializing of America, 1800-1930, University of New York Press,
SIMON, D. & BURNS, E.: The Corner: A Year in the Life of an
Inner-City Neighbourhood, Broadway Books, New York, 1998.
STALEY, S.: Drug Policy and the Decline of American Cities,
Transactions Publishers, New Brunswick, 1992.
WALDORF, D., REINARMAN, C. & MURPHY, S.: Cocaine Changes: The
Experience of Using and Quitting, Temple University Press, Philadelphia,
WALLACE, J. & Bachman, J.: ăExplaining Racial/Ethnic Differences
in Adolescent Drug Use: The Impact of Background and Lifestyle╚,
in Social Problems, Vol.38, 1991.
WILLIAMS, T. & KORNBLUM, W.: The Uptown Kids: Struggle and Hope
in the Projects, Putnam, New York, 1994.
WILLIAMS, T.: Crackhouse, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company,
Reading (USA), 1992.
ô The Cocaine Kids, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading
ELWOOD, W.: Rhetoric in the War on Drugs: The Triumphs and Tragedies
of Public Relations, Praeger, Westport, 1994.
- Media issues
GONZENBACH, W.: The Media, the President, and Public Opinion: A
Longitudinal Analysis of the Drug Issue, 1984-1991, L. Erlbaum Associates,
REEVES, J. & CAMPBELL, R.: Cracked Coverage. Television News,
the Anti-Cocaine Crusade, and the Reagan Legacy, Duke University
Press, Durham and London, 1994.
REINARMAN, C. & LEVINE, H.:
ăCrack in Context: Politics and Media in the Making of a Drug
Scare╚, in Contemporary Drug Problems, Vol. 16, 1989.
AGUAYO QUEZADA, S.: ăIntelligence Services and the Transition
to Democracy in Mexico╚, in BAILEY, J. & AGUAYO QUEZADA, S.:
Strategy and Security in U.S.-Mexican relations Beyond the Cold War,
Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego,
BURKE, M.: ăBolivia: The Politics of Cocaine╚, in Current
History, Vol. 90, No. 553, 1991.
HEALY, K.: ăPolitical Ascent of Bolivia's Peasant Coca Leaf Producers╚,
in Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, vol. 33,
No.1, Spring 1991.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Bolivia Under Pressure: Human Rights Violations
and Coca Eradication, Human Rights Watch Publications, Vol. 8, No.
4, May 1996.
JOYCE, E. & MALAMUD, C.: Latin America and the Multinational
Drug Trade, Saint Martin═s Press, New York, 1997.
LEE, R.: The White Labyrinth: Cocaine and Political Power, Transaction
Publishers, New Brunswick and London, 1989.
LEONS, M.: ăRisk and Opportunity in the Coca/Cocaine Economy
of the Bolivian Yungas╚, in Journal of Latin American Studies,
Vol. 25, 1993.
ô & SANABRIA, H. (eds.): Coca, Cocaine and the Bolivian Reality,
State University of New York Press, New York, 1997.
LUPSHA, P.: ăTransnational Narco-Corruption and Narco-Investment:
A Focus on Mexico╚, in Transnational Organized Crime, Vol.
1, No.1, Spring 1995.
ô ăDrug Lords and Narco-Corruption: The Players Change but
the Game Continues╚, in McCOY, A. & BLOCK, A. (eds.): War
on Drugs: Studies in the Failure of U.S. Narcotics Policy, Westwiew
Press, Boulder and Oxford, 1992.
MORALES, E.: Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru, University of Arizona
Press, Tucson, 1989.
PAINTER, J.: Bolivia and Coca: A Study in Dependency, Lynne
Rienner Publishers, Boulder, 1994.
POPPA, T.: Drug Lord: The Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin,
Pharos Books, New York, 1990.
BAGLEY, B. (ed.): Drug Trafficking Research in the Americas: An
Annotated Bibliography, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 1996.
BOTERO, C.: Drugs and Latin America: A Bibliography, Vance Bibliographies,
CROUCH, T.: Clic Papers: An Annotated Bibliography on Military Involvement
in Counterdrug Operations, 1980-1990, Department of the Army, Department
of the Air Force, Army-Air Force Center for Low Intensity Conflict,
Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, September 1992, AD-A252 212.
EBENER, P., FELDMAN, E. & FITZGERALD, N.: Federal Databases
for Use in Drug Policy Research: A Catalogue for Data Users, RAND,
Santa Monica, 1993.
McCARL, H. & YANG, C.: Economic Impact of the Underground Economy:
A Bibliography on Money Laundering and Other Aspects of Off-the-Record
Economic Transactions, Vance Bibliographies, Monticello, 1989.
NARCO-ALERT: The War on Drugs: A Research Guide, Washington,
TULLIS, L.: Handbook of Research on the Illicit Drug Traffic: Socioeconomic
and Political Consequences, Greenwood Press, Westport, 1991.
HALLINGBY, L.: ăThe Two Lindesmith Center Libraries on Drug Policy
Reform: The Traditional Library and the Virtual Library╚, in Behavioral
and Social Science Librarian, Vol. 17, No.1, 1998.
CLAYTON, R.: Marijuana in the ´Third World═: Appalachia, U.S.A.,
Vol. 5, Studies on the Impact of the Illegal Drug Trade, United Nations
Research Institute for Social Development and the United Nations University,
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder and London, 1995.
GRINSPOON, L.: Marihuana Reconsidered, Quick American Archives,
HARRISON, L., BACKENHEIMER, M. & INCIARDI, J.: Cannabis Use
in the United States: Implications for Policy, Center for Drug and
Alcohol Studies, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, June 1995.
KLEIMAN, M.: Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control, Greenwood
Press, New York, 1989.
SCHLOSSER, E.: ăMarijuana and the Law╚, in The Atlantic
Monthly, Vol. 274, No. 3, September 1994.
ô ăReefer Madness╚, in The Atlantic Monthly, Vol.
274, No.2, August 1994.
THOMAS, C.: Marijuana Arrests and Incarceration in the United States:
Preliminary Report, The Marijuana Policy Project, Washington,: November
WEISHEIT, R.: Domestic Marijuana: A Neglected Industry, Greenwood
Press, New York, 1992.
ZIMMER, L. & MORGAN, J.: Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, a
Review of the Scientific Evidence, The Lindesmith Center, New York
and San Francisco, 1997.
ECONOMICS OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND USE
BECKER, G., GROSSMAN, M. & MURPHY, K.: ăA Theory of Rational
Addiction╚, in Journal of Political Economy, Vol.96, 1989.
CAULKINS, J.: ăIs Crack Cheaper Than (Powder) Cocaine?╚,
in Addiction, Vol. 92, No. 11, 1997.
ô ăModeling the Domestic Distribution Network for Illicit Drugs╚,
in Management Science, Vol. 43, No. 10, 1997.
ô ăDomestic Geographic Variation in Illicit Drug Prices╚,
in Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 37, 1995.
ô Developing Price Series for Cocaine, RAND, Santa Monica,
CHILDRESS, M.: A Systems Description of the Heroin Trade, RAND,
Santa Monica, 1994.
ô A Systems Description of the Marijuana Trade, RAND, Santa
DOMBEY-MOORE, B., RESETAR, S. & CHILDRESS, M.: A Systems Description
of the Cocaine Trade, RAND, Santa Monica, 1994.
EVERINGHAM, S., RYDELL, P. & CAULKINS, J.: ăCocaine Consumption
in the United States: Estimating Past Trends and Future Scenarios╚,
in Socio-Economic Planning Science, Vol. 29, No. 4, 1996.
EVERINGHAM, S., & RYDELL, P.: Modeling the Demand for Cocaine,
RAND, Santa Monica, 1994.
HAGEDORN, J.: The Business of Drug Dealing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Policy Research Institute report, Vol. 11, No. 5, June 1998.
JARVIK, M.: ăThe Drug Dilemma: Manipulating the Demand╚,
in Science, No.250, 1990.
KENNEDY, M., REUTER, P. & RILEY, K.J.: A Simple Economic Model
of Cocaine Production, RAND, National Defense Research Institute,
Santa Monica, 1994.
MacCOUN, R. & REUTER, P.: ăAre the Wages of Sin $30 an Hour:
Economic Aspects of Street-level Drug Dealing╚, in Crime and
Delinquency, Vol. 38, No. 4, 1992.
POZO, S. (ed.): Exploring the Underground Economy, W.E. Upjohn
Institute, Kalamazoo, 1996.
REUTER, P. & HAAGA, J.: The Organization of High-Level Drug
Markets: An Exploratory Study, RAND, Santa Monica, 1989.
REUTER, P., MacCOUN, R. , MURPHY, P. with ABRAHAMSE, A. & SIMON,
B.: Money from Crime: A Study of the Economics of Drug Dealing in
Washington, D.C., RAND, Santa Monica, 1990.
SANER, H., MacCOUN, R. & REUTER, P.: ăOn the Ubiquity of
Drug Selling Among Youthful Offenders in Washington, D.C., 1985-1991:
Age, Period or Cohort Effect?╚, in Journal of Quantitative
Criminology, Vol. 11, No. 4, December 1995.
1. Galbraith, J.: The Affluent Society,
40th Anniversary Edition, Mariner Books, Boston and New York,
1998 (1958), p. 6.
2. Report after a one-month field
study the United States, April/May, 1999. Paris, July 1999. I wish to
express my gratitude to the taxpayers and the federal government of
the United States, in particular Ambassador Felix Rohatyn and the United
States Information Agency (USIA) Caroline Gorse-Combalat, Maureen
Cormack and Mich*le Plawner of the US Embassy in Paris, and Carol
Grabauskas of USIA in Washington for inviting me to take part
in the International Visitor Program. My gratitude also goes to Meridian
International Center in Washington, DC, especially Melissa Phillips
and Kandel Coorman for the excellent organisation and management of
my program, and their hard work beyond the call of duty. Thanks should
also be extended to Ahmed Scego, my escort officer. All the people whom
I met during the trip deserve special thanks, but they are too numerous
to be mentioned by name. Their patience, kindness and openness with
comments and literature made tangible the diversity of the United States
and testified to its democratic culture. I hope I have not wasted their
time; they can be assured that they have not wasted mine. Last, but
not least, I am grateful to the MOST Programme of UNESCO, particularly
the project ăEconomic and Social Transformations connected with
the International Drug Problem╚, implemented in collaboration
3. Ibid., p. 15.
4. Conventional wisdom about drugs
is extremely pervasive; it may even contaminate scholarly work. For
instance, Paul Johnson═s highly regarded A History of the American
People (HarperPerennial, New York, 1999), a major historical study
of more than 1000 pages, mentions ădrugs╚ only once while
discussing social mobility in the United States: ăAnd all the
time pop music was crowding in to envelop the various styles and traditions
in the phantasmagoria of commercial music geared to the taste of countless
millions of easily manipulated but increasingly affluent young people.
And, from the world of jazz and pop, the drug habit spread to the
masses as the most accelerated form of downward mobility of all╚
(my emphasis). Although it cannot be denied that pop and jazz have provided,
and continue to provide the musical environment for much drug taking
in America (and elsewhere), and they may induce drug use by some young
Americans, Johnson═s statement is, to say the least, reductive. In a
broad and morally-loaded generalisation of the links between drugs and
modern musical forms associated with youth and Black Americans (both
of which are widely perceived as ădangerous╚ groups by the
rest of society, according to American sociologists), Johnson, a British
historian, reproduces the conventional wisdom that all drug use is habit-forming
and inevitably leads down the social scale, despite considerable scientific
evidence to the contrary. Neither does Johnson seem to be familiar with
the abundant literature on drugs in America produced by British and
American historians (see Bibliography).
5. On this, see among many others:
Brecher, E. (ed.): Licit and Illicit Drugs, Little & Brown,
Boston, 1972, pp.90-100; Wisotsky, S.: Beyond the War on Drugs: Overcoming
of a Failed Public Policy, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 1990, pp.
32-36; and Kleiman, M.: Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results,
Basic Books, New York, 1992, pp. 104-126.
6. Mill also opposed the use of law
to keep individuals from doing harms to themselves, and it is probable
that he would oppose present-day U.S. drug policy. Marc Moore quotes
the following passage from Mill═s On Liberty (1859): ăThe
only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member
of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.╚,
in Moore, M.: ăDrugs, the Criminal Law and the Administration
of Justice╚, in Bayer, R. & Oppenheimer, G.: Confronting
Drug Policy: Illicit Drugs in a Free Society, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge and New York, 1993, p. 226.
7. See Carlos Sanchez Milani═s introduction
to the Proceedings of the II Annual Conference, Rio de Janeiro, 19-22
October 1998, of the UNESCO/MOST/UNDCP Project on Economic and Social
Transformations connected with the International Drug Problem, mimeo,
Paris, 1999, p.1.
8. UNDCP: Management of Social
Transformations: Building in a Drug Component, AD/GLO/98/D17, p.
9. This paper is about social
science research only; it does not cover the huge American literature
from other fields such as pharmacology, chemistry, epidemiology, etc.
Therefore, in this paper the word ăresearch╚ means ăsocial
science research on drug trafficking and drug policy╚.
10. See Levine, H.: ăThe Discovery
of Addiction: Changing Conceptions of Habitual Drunkenness in America╚,
in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol. 38, No. 1, January 1978.
On opiates use in the 19th century, see Courtwright, D.:
Dark Paradise: Opiate Addiction in America Before 1940, Harvard
University Press, Cambridge, 1982, pp. 35-42.
11. Levine, op.cit., pp.
151-161. See also, e.g. Blocker, J.: American Temperance Movements,
Twayne, Boston, 1989; and Gusfield, J.: Symbolic Crusade: Status
Politics and the American Temperance Movement, University of Illinois
Press, Urbana, 1963; Becker, H.: Outsiders, čditions M*taili*,
Paris 1985 (The Free Press of Glencoe, New York, 1963), Chapter 8 on
12. See e.g. McWilliams, J.: The
Protectors: Harry J. Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics,
1930-1962, University of Delaware Press, Newark, 1990; McWilliams,
J.: ăThrough the Past Darkly: The Politics and Policies of America═s
Drug War╚, in Journal of Policy History, Vol. 3, No. 4,
1991; Kinder, D. & Walker, W.: ăStable Force in a Storm: Harry
J. Anslinger and United States Narcotic Policy, 1930-1962╚, in
Journal of American History, Vol. 72, No. 4, March 1986.
13. See Kinder, D.: ăShutting
Out the Evil: Nativism and Narcotics Control in the United States╚,
in Journal of Policy History, Vol. 3, No.4, 1991; and Musto,
D.: The American Disease, Oxford University Press, New York,
1987, especially pp. 5-6.
14. Bertram et al.: Drug War
politics, The Price of Denial, University of California Press, Berkeley
and Los Angeles, 1996, pp. 61-65, quote from p.63.
15. Ibid, p. 65.
16. The 18th Amendment
was abrogated by the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933.
On the usefulness of the bootlegging infrastructure for drug traffickers,
see OGD: Atlas mondial des Drogues, Presses Universitaires de
France, Paris 1996, p. 60.
17. Writing in the 1960s, Thomas
Schelling framed the legalisation debate in the following way: ăthe
question is whether the goal of somewhat reducing the consumption of
narcotics (č) or anything else that is forced by law into the black
market, is or is not outweighed by the costs to society of creating
a criminal industry╚, in Schelling, T.: ăEconomic Analysis
of Organized Crime╚, in U.S. President═s Commission on Law Enforcement
and the Administration of Justice: Task Force Report: Organized Crime,
Government Printing Office, Washington, 1967.
18. See Bibliography, section on
ăThe Drug Policy Debate╚.
19. Szasz, T.: Ceremonial Chemistry:
The ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers, Anchor Press,
Garden City, 1974; Our Right to Drugs: The case for a free
market, Praeger, New York, 1992; Nadelmann, E.: ăDrug Prohibition
in the United States: Costs, Consequences and Alternatives╚, in
Science, September 1, 1989; and ăThinking Seriously About
Alternatives to Drug Prohibition╚, in Daedalus, Vol. 121,
No. 3, 1992.
20. MOST network members may be
interested to know that the New York library of the Lindesmith Center
(a branch of the Open Society Institute of billionaire George Soros)
is extremely well-furnished in books and articles on various aspects
of drug trafficking and drug policy in the United States and beyond.
Those interested in following the legalisation debate in the United
States from a ălegalisationist═s╚ viewpoint can check the
Lindesmith Center internet homepage at http://www.lindesmith.org,
where several bibliographies are available; see Hallingby, L.: ăThe
Two Lindesmith Center Libraries on Drug Policy Reform: The Traditional
Library and the Virtual Library╚, in Behavioral and Social
Science Librarian, Vol. 17, No.1, 1998.
21. Inciardi, J. & McBride,
D.: ăLegalization: A High-Risk Alternative in the War on Drugs╚,
in American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 32, 1989.
22. DEA: Speaking Out Against
Drug Legalization, (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/legaliz/contents.htm).
DEA also has a library, but would-be users have to obtain clearance
before using it. Reports and testimonies on drug trafficking are available
on the internet homepage of DEA (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/).
23. DEA: Say it Straight: The
Medical Myths of Marijuana (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/sayit/myths.htm#political)
24. Zimmer, L. & Morgan, J.:
Marijuana Myths/Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence,
The Lindesmith Center, New York and San Francisco, 1997.
25. See Bibliography, section on
26. Office of National Drug Control
Policy (ONDCP): The National Drug Control Strategy, 1998: A Ten Year
Plan, 1998-2007, Executive Office of the President, Washington,
1998, p. 53.
27. Lindesmith, A.: ăTraffic
in Dope: Medical problem╚, in The Nation Magazine, 21 April
1956; ăDope: Congress Encourages the Traffic╚, in
ibid. 16 March 1957; Opiate Addiction, Principia Press,
Bloomington, 1947; and The Addict and the Law, Indiana University
Press, Bloomington, 1965. Anslinger, H. & Tompkins, J.: The Traffic
in Narcotics, Arno Press, New York 1980 (1953); Anslinger, H.: The
Murderers, Farrar & Strauss, New York 1961; The Protectors,
Farrar & Strauss, New York, 1964.
28. See e.g. MacCoun, R., Kahan,
J., Gillespie, J. & Rhee, J.: ăA Content Analysis of the Drug
Legalization Debate╚, in Journal of Drug Issues, Vol. 23,
No. 4, 1993; MacCoun, R.: ăDrugs and the Law: A Psychological
Analysis of Drug Prohibition╚, in Psychological Bulletin,
Vol. 113, No. 3, 1993; non Rand examples include Kleiman, M.: ăNeither
Prohibition nor Legalization╚, in Daedalus, Vol. 121, No.
3, 1992; and Evans, R. & Berent, M.: Drug Legalization: For and
Against, Open Court, La Salle, 1992.
29. See, e.g. MacCoun, R. &
Schelling, T.: ăAssessing Alternative Drug Control Regimes╚,
in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 15, No. 3,
June 1996; MacCoun, R. & Reuter, P.: ăInterpreting Dutch Cannabis
Policy: Reasoning by Analogy in the Legalization Debate╚, in Science,
Vol. 278, 3 October 1997; and Rydell, P., Caulkins, J. & Everingham,
S.: ăEnforcement or Treatment: Modeling the Relative Efficacy
of Alternatives for Controlling Cocaine╚, in Operations Research,
Vol. 44, No. 5, September-October 1996.
30. Reuter, P.: ăWhy Can═t
We Make Prohibition Work Better? Some Consequence of Ignoring the Unattractive╚,
in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 141,
No. 3, September 1997, p. 263. See also Caulkins, J. Rydell, P. Everingham,
S., Chiesa, J. & Bushway, S.: An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound
of Uncertainty: The Cost-Effectiveness of School-Based Drug Prevention
Programs, RAND, Santa Monica, 1999.
31. Reuter, op. cit., p. 263.
32. Bertram et al.: Drug War
Politics, op. cit., p. 64.
33. Musto, D.: The American Disease,
op. cit.; Kinder, D.: ăShutting Out the Evil╚, op. cit.;
McWilliams, J.: ăThrough the Past Darkly╚, op. cit.
34. Bruun, K., Pan, L. & Rexed,
I. : The Gentlemen's Club: International Control of Drugs and
Alcohol, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1975,
35. Bertram et al., op. cit., pp.
36. ONDCP: The National Drug
Control Strategy, 1998, op. cit., p. 17.
38. Ibid. Of course, here
ăcrime╚ means unlawful acts such as robbery, murder,
rape, domestic violence, etc. other than drug production, trafficking
and use, which are crimes in and of themselves due to prohibition.
39. Mauer, M.: Americans Behind
Bars: A comparison of International Rates of Incarceration, The
Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C., 1991; Americans Behind Bars:
U.S. and International Use of Incarceration, 1995, The Sentencing
Project, Washington, D.C., 1997.
40. Schlosser, E.: ăThe Prison-Industrial
Complex╚, in The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 282, No.6, December
1998; Christie, N.: Crime Control as Industry, Routledge, London
and New York, 1996 (1993). Schlosser defines the prison-industrial complex
as: ăa set of bureaucratic, political and economic interests that
encourage increased spending on imprisonment, regardless of the actual
41. See the campaign launched by
Amnesty International against various abuses, including sexual assault,
homicide and torture by U.S. police and prison authorities on http://www.amnesty.org.
42. The theoretical basis of the
so-called ´zero-tolerance═ policy implemented in New York is the ´broken
windows═ theory developed in the early 1980s by criminologists James
Q. Wilson and George F. Kelling. Emphasizing the need for ´community-oriented═
police work, which is a preventive strategy aimed at maintaining order
by acting preemptively on the environment to discourage crimes before
they happen (rather than trying to solve criminal cases after crimes
have happened), Wilson and Kelling have argued that if a broken window
is left unfixed in an area, this area will soon witness further degradations
leading to an atmosphere that will attract crime. The police should
concentrate more time on seemingly ´little things═ such as fixing a
broken window, because they go a long way to make neighborhoods unattractive
to criminals. See Wilson, J. and Kelling, G.: ´Broken Windows: the police
and neighborhood safety═, in The Atlantic Monthly, March 1982;
Wilson, J.: ´Thinking about crime: the debate over deterrence═ in ibid.,
September 1983; and Wilson, J. and Kelling, G.: ´Making Neighborhoods
Safe═, in ibid., February 1989.
43. Human Rights Watch: Cruel
and Usual: Disproportionate Sentences for New York Drug Offenders,
Human Rights Watch Report, Vol.9, No.2(B), Human Rights Violations in
the United States, New York, March 1997, p. 9, quoting Carmona v.
Ward, 576 F. 2d, 405 423 (*d Cir. 1978) cert denied,
439 U.S. 1091 (1979).
44. Ibid., p. 3.
45. Caulkins, J., Rydell, P., Schwabe,
W. & Chiesa, J.: Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences: Throwing Away
the Key or the Taxpayers═ Money?, RAND, Santa Monica, 1997.
46. Dilulio, J.: ăAgainst
Mandatory Minimums: The Disaster of Drug-Sentencing Laws╚, in
National Review, May 17, 1999, p. 48. A ădrug-only offender╚
is a person convicted of a breach of drug laws and no other crime.
47. Human Rights Watch: Cruel
and Usual, op. cit. p. 2.
48. Greenwood, P.: Three Strikes
and You're Out: Estimated Costs and Benefits of California's New Mandatory-Sentencing
Law, RAND, Santa Monica, 1994.
49. Duster, T.: ăPattern,
Purpose, and Race in the Drug War: The Crisis of Credibility in Criminal
Justice╚, in Reinarman & Levine: Crack in America,
op. cit., p. 262.
50. DiMascio, W.: Seeking Justice:
Crime and Punishment in America, The Edna McConnel Clark Foundation,
New York, 1997, p. 13.
51. Ibid., p. 13.
52. Mauer, M.: Young Black Americans
and the Criminal Justice System: Five Years Later, The Sentencing
Project, Washington, D.C., 1995.
53. Dilulio, J.: ăAgainst
Mandatory Minimums╚, op. cit., p. 50.
54. See, for instance, Huling, T.:
Injustice Will Be Done: Women Drug Couriers and the Rockefeller Drug
Laws, Correctional Association of New York, New York, 1992; Schiraldy,
V., Kuyper, S. & Hewitt, S.: Young African Americans and the
Criminal Justice System in California: Five Years Later, Center
on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, San Francisco, Washington & Baltimore,
February 1996; Roberts, D.: ăPunishing Drug Addicts Who Have Babies:
Women of Color, Equality, and the Right of Privacy╚, in Havard
Law Review, Vol.104, 1991; Szalavitz, M.: ăWar on Drugs, War on
Women╚, in On The Issue Magazine, winter 1998.
55. Reuter, P.: ăHawks Ascendant:
The Punitive Trend of American Drug Policy╚, in Daedalus,
Vol. 121, No.3, Summer 1992.
56. Turner v. United States,
396 U.S. 398, 426, 1969, quoted in Wisotsky, S.: ă═Images of Death
and Destruction in Drug Law Cases╚, in Trebach, A. & Zeese,
K. (eds.): The Great Issues of Drug Policy, The Drug Policy Foundation,
Washington, D.C., 1990, p. 52.
57. However, a volume edited by
Michael Tonry and James Wilson, ăDrugs and Crime╚, must
be mentioned here. It seems to be quite an important compilation of
research results on the issue since the papers published in it have
been quoted as reference in much recent literature: Wilson, J. &
Tonry, M. (eds.): Drugs and Crime (Crime and Justice, Vol 13), University
of Chicago Press, Evanston, 1991.
58. On the role of television in
the Reagan ăwar on drugs╚, see the excellent Media Studies
research: Reeves, J. & Campbell, R.: Cracked Coverage. Television
News, the Anti-Cocaine Crusade, and the Reagan Legacy, Duke University
Press, Durham and London, 1994.
59. Reinarman, C. & Levine,
H.: ăThe Crack Attack: Politics and Media in the Crack Scare╚,
in Reinarman, C. & Levine, H. (eds.): Crack in America, Demon
Drugs and Social Justice, University of California Press, Berkeley,
Los Angeles and London, 1997, pp. 22-23. The authors note that the press
later discovered that, in fact, the crack bag in President Bush═s hand
had not been ăseized╚ but bought for $2,400 from an African-American
teenager by undercover DEA agents. Moreover, the agents had to work
hard at enticing the teenager to carry out the sale in the park mentioned
by the president, and they did not arrest him...
60. Goldstein, P., Brownstein, H.,
Ryan, P. & Bellucci, P.: ăCrack and Homicide in New York City:
A Case Study in the Epidemiology of Violence╚, in Reinarman, C.
& Levine, H. (eds.): Crack in America, op. cit., esp. pp.
115-122 and Table 6-1.
61. ADAM collects data in county
jails only, meaning that no data is collected in state, federal and
city jurisdictions; see the latest annual report: National Institute
of Justice: 1998 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile
Arrestees, Research Report, Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program
(ADAM), Department of Justice, Washington, April 1999.
62. Although NIJ says that I-ADAM
is still at the starting phase, it has already produced one comparative
study: Taylor, B. & Bennett, T.: Comparing Drug Use Rates of
Detained Arrestees in the United States and England, NIJ Report,
Department of Justice, Washington, April 1999.
63. See Zimring, F. & Hawkins,
G.: The Search for Rational Drug Control, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge, New York and Melbourne, 1995, p. 138.
64. Ibid., p. 137.
65. Ibid., p. 140.
66. This is the definition given
in Reinarman, C. & Levine, H.: ăCrack in Context: America═s
Latest Demon Drug╚, in Reinarman, C. & Levine, H. (eds.):
Crack in America, op. cit., p. 9.
67. Zinberg, N.: Drug, Set, and
Setting: The Basis for Controlled Intoxicant Use, Yale University
Press, New Haven, 1984.
68. Ibid., p. x, quoted in
Reinarman & Levine ăCrack in Context╚, op. cit. p. 9.
69. Lindesmith, A.: Opiate Addiction,
op. cit., quoted in ibid.
70. Becker, H.: Outsiders,
op. cit., chapter 3.
71. The term is by John Morgan,
interviewed in New York on May 5, 1999.
72. Reinarman & Levine: Crack
in Context, op. cit., p. 8.
73. See the review of Paul Gootenberg═s
Cocaine: Global Histories, below.
74. Clayton, R.: Marijuana in
the ´Third World═: Appalachia, U.S.A., Vol. 5, Studies on the Impact
of the Illegal Drug Trade, United Nations Research Institute for Social
Development and the United Nations University, Lynne Rienner Publishers,
Boulder and London, 1995.
75. Ibid., p. 61.
76. Hagedorn, J.: The Business
of Drug Dealing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
report, Vol. 11, No. 5, June 1998, p. 1.
77. Bourgois, P.: In Search of
Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, New York and Melbourne, 1995; a shorter version of the study
as been published in Contemporary Drug Problems, Vol. 16, 1989,
but this paper═s review of Bourgois═ work is based on yet another version
titled ăIn Search of Horatio Alger: Culture and Ideology in the
Crack Economy╚, in Reinarman & Levine (eds.): Crack in
America, op. cit. Other important contributors to the ethnographic
school of American drug research (of which Howard Becker is the best-know
representative) include Waldorf, D., Reinarman, C. & Murphy, S.:
Cocaine Changes: The Experience of Using and Quitting, Temple
University Press, Philadelphia, 1991.
78. Ibid., p. 66.
79. Ibid., p. 72.
80. Ibid., p. 68.
81. Ibid., p. 63.
82. Ibid., p. 63.
83. See Laniel, L.: ăDrugs
and Globalization: An Equivocal Relationship╚, in International
Social Science Journal, No. 160, June 1999.
84. Buell, R. : ăThe Opium
Conferences╚, in Foreign Affairs, Vol. 3, July 1925.
85. See, e.g., Bagley, B.: ăThe
New Hundred Years War? U.S. National Security and the War on Drugs in
Latin America╚, in Journal of Interamerican Studies and World
Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring 1988; ăColombia: The Wrong
Strategy╚, in Foreign Policy, No.77, Winter 1989-1990;
ăAfter San Antonio╚, in Journal of Interamerican Studies
and World Affairs, Vol. 34, No.3, Fall 1992; Bagley, B. & Walker,
W. (eds.): Drug Trafficking in the Americas, Transaction Publishers,
New Brunswick, 1994.
86. For instance, Falco, M. : ăForeign
Drugs, Foreign Wars╚, in Daedalus, Vol. 121, No. 3, Summer
1992; Lee, R. : The White Labyrinth: Cocaine and Political Power,
Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick and London, 1989; Reuter, P. :
The Limits and Consequences of U.S. Foreign Drug Control Efforts,
RAND/RP-135, Santa Monica, 1992; Smith, P. (ed.): Drug Policy in
the Americas, Westview Press, Boulder, 1992; Perl, R.: ăThe
US Congress, International Drug Policy, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act
of 1988╚, in Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs,
Vol. 30, Nos. 2 & 3, Summer/Fall 1988; etc.; see Bibliography, section
on the Americas.
87. Craig, R. : ăLa Campaşa
permanente, Mexico═s Anti-Drug Campaign╚, in Journal of Interamerican
Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 2, May 1978; ăOperation
Condor: Mexico═s Anti-Drug Campaign Enters a New Era╚, in The
Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 22, No.
3, August 1980; Walker, W.: ăThe United States, Mexico and Narcotics
Policy, 1930-1940╚, in Pacific Historical Review, No. 47,
88. For instance, Drexler, R.: Colombia
and the United States: Narcotics Traffic and a Failed Foreign Policy,
McFarland, Jefferson, 1997; Andreas, P. & Sharpe, K.: ăCocaine
Politics in the Andes╚, in Current History, Vol. 91, No.562,
February 1992; Mabry, D.: ăAndean Drug Trafficking and the Military
Option╚, in Military Review, vol. LXXI, No.3, March 1990
Youngers, C. : The Andean Quagmire: Rethinking U.S. Drug Control
Efforts in the Andes, WOLA Briefing Series: Issues in International
Drug Policy, Washington, D.C., March 1996; see Bibliography, section
on ăAndean Countries╚.
89. For instance, Andreas, P. :
ăU.S.-Mexico: Open Markets, Closed Borders╚, in Foreign
Policy, No. 103, Summer 1996; Doyle, K. : ăDrug War: A Quietly
Escalating Failure╚, in NACLA Report on the Americas, Vol.
XXVI, No. 5, May 1993 ; Olson, E. : The Evolving Role of Mexico═s
Military in Public Security and Antinarcotics Programs, WOLA Briefing
Series: Issues in International Drug Policy, Washington, D.C., May 1996
; Gonzřlez, G. & Tienda, M. (eds.): The Drug Connection
in U.S.-Mexican Relations, University of California, Center for
U.S.-Mexican Studies, La Jolla, 1989; see Bibliography, section on ăMexico╚.
90. For instance, Craig, R.: ăHuman
Rights and Mexico═s Anti-Drug Campaign╚, in Social Science
Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 4, March 1980.
91. For instance, WOLA: The Colombian
National Police, Human Rights, and U.S. Drug Policy, Washington
Office on Latin America, Washington, May 1993; Peru Under Scrutiny:
Human Rights and U.S. Drug Policy, Briefing #5, Washington Office
on Latin America, Washington, January 1992.
92. For instance, M*ndez,
J.: The ăDrug war╚ in Colombia: The Neglected Tragedy
of Political Violence, An Americas Watch report, Human Rights Watch,
New York, 1990.
93. McCoy, A.: The Politics of
Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Lawrence Hill Books,
New York, 1991; McCoy, A. & Block, A. (eds.): War on Drugs: Studies
in the Failure of U.S. Narcotics Policy, Westwiew Press, Boulder
and Oxford, 1992; Scott, P.D. & Marshall, J. : Cocaine Politics,
Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America, University of California
Press, Berkeley and Oxford, 1991.
94. Bailey, J. & Godson, R.:
Organized Crime & Democratic Governability in Mexico & the
U.S.-Mexican Borderlands, in press, 1999.
95. There are important, although
not widely publicised, exceptions to this general rule, see for instance
Brewton, P.: The Mafia, CIA & George Bush, SPI Books, New
York 1992 for a well-documented, careful, journalistic study; for equally
well documented and careful scholarly work, see Block, A.: Masters
of Paradise. Organized Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the
Bahamas, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, 1997 (1991); and
Block, A. (ed.): The Business of Crime: A Documentary Study of Organized
Crime in the American Economy, Westview Press, Boulder, 1991.
96. John Bailey kindly granted me
permission to comment on a draft of his and Roy Godson═s introduction.
97. Gootenberg, P. (ed.): Cocaine:
Global Histories, Routledge, London and New York, 1999.
98. All quotations are from a draft
of Paul Gootenberg═s introduction to the volume, which he kindly permitted
me to comment on in this report.
99. Astorga, L.: Mitolog╣a
del ănarcotraficante╚ en M*xico, Plaza y Vald*s,
Mexico City, 1995; El siglo de las drogas, Espasa Hoy, Mexico
City, 1996; Drug Trafficking in Mexico: A First General Assessment,
MOST discussion Paper No. 36
100. For a more detailed discussion
of this problem, see ăMřs allř del bien y del mal╚,
chapter 1 in Astorga: Mitolog╣a, op. cit., pp. 15-22.
101. Incidentally, Gootenberg touches
here on a problem that was raised during the MOST conference in Rio.
Network members might recall a debate between Guillem Fabre and the
present writer on that occasion: while Guillem argued that drugs should
be studied as are any other (legal or illegal) commodities, I argued
that drugs were unlike any other substances due to their historical
links to religion and war (see Proceedings of the II Annual Conference,
p. 6). Gootenberg solves the problem by stating that the interest of
drugs is, precisely, that their study requires both the ănormalized╚
economic approach called for by Guillem, and the ăspecial╚
social approach I favoured.
About the author
Laurent Laniel, researcher at the Observatoire G*opolitique des
Drogues (OGD, Paris), 14 Passage Dubail, 75010 Paris (France), works mainly
on socio-economic implications of illicit drug production, consumption
and trafficking and drug control policies. His main geographical areas
of interest are Subsaharan-Africa and the Americas. His last publications
include ăDrugs and Globalisation: An Equivocal Relationship╚,
Social Science Journal, No. 160, June 1999; and ăMarch*
local de la consommation et d*veloppement des cultures de cannabis
au Ghana╚, in OGD/MOST : Les drogues en Afrique
subsaharienne, Karthala, Paris, 1998.
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors
and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNESCO.
The frontiers and boundaries on maps published in this series do not
imply official endorsement or acceptance by UNESCO or the United Nations.