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Operation Intercept: The Multiple Consequences of Social Policy


The Multiple Consequences of Public Policy  
By Lawrence A. Gooberman


Operation Intercept: The Policy and the Research Problem

On Sunday, September 21, 1969, the United States government embarked upon Operation intercept to deter and detect the illegal importation of marihuana across the United States-Mexican border. Heralded by U.S. Bureau of Customs officials as an "unprecedented . . . historic effort,"1 that "proved for the first time we could effectively interdict the flow of marijuana into the U.S.,"2 this new public policy was widely acknowledged to be the most extensive attempt in United States history to curb the importation of illegal drugs.

The policy was based on a document entitled Report of Special Presidential Task Force Relating to Narcotics, Marihuana and Dangerous Drugs, released on June 6, 1969. This report, prepared by an interdepartmental commission conceived by the then Attorney General John Mitchell, was presented as a direct result of President Nixon's pledge to the American people that he would adopt strong polictmin order to combat the drug abuse problem in this country.

The 22-member task force was placed under the co-chairmanship of Deputy Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Eugene T. Rossides. It included R. Richards Rolapp, Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General, serving as Executive Secretary, John J. Caulfield, Staff Assistant to Counsel, The White House, G. Gordon Liddy, Special Assistant to and Henry E. Petersen,

the Secretary, Department of the Treasury, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice. Representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Department of the Anny, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Department of Transportation, Interstate Commerce Commission, and White House Staff were included on the panel.3 A staff assistant to John Ehrlichman (former chief domestic advisor to President Nixon) was present as an observer. John Mitchell and Secretary of the Treasury, David M. Kennedy, reported directly to the President.

This concentrated attack, waged along 2500 miles of the United States-Mexican border (from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego), represented a great investment of manpower hours as well as financial and material resources. According to The New York Times: "Operation Intercept is being waged by nearly 2000 agents of the Bureau of Customs and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Working aroun the clock from the Pacific to the Gulf they stopped 2,384,079 citizens of the United States and Mexico at 31 border crossings in the drive's first week."4 This policy totally altered previous border inspection practices. As stated by The New York Times four days after Operation Intercept was launched: "Before Operation Intercept went into effect at 2:30 P.M. Sunday, inspectors took less than a minute to process a vehicle and its passengers. Only one car in twenty was given the present three minute treatment, including thorough scrutiny of the trunk and engine areas, under seats and behind cushions and door panels."' The new policy "calls for a 100 percent inspection of all persons and vehicles crossing into the United States, and there are no exceptions." 6

Operation Intercept was also being implemented by other means in the attempt to detect and deter all persons involved in the illegal drug market. As stated by The Nation.- "It involves the veritable mobilization of Federal agencies and the use of aircraft (both fixed-wing and helicopter) boats, radar, esoteric instruments and marijuana-sniffers and, above all-the full weight of the government's publicity apparatus.-7 Further, as noted by Newsweek "A new system of keener radar will go into operation

later this month (September, 1969), and just two weeks ago the F.A.A. issued stiff new rules requiring U.S.-bound pilots to file flight plans before taking off from Mexican airports."8 The new policy was also aimed at destroying the supply at its source. According to Newsweek:

The task force suggested that the U.S. supply Mexico with recently developed aerial sensor devices capable of detecting marijuana or opium poppy fields from the sky and also with benzyldiethyl amino benzoate, a deadly marijuana defoliant. Thus equipped, Mexican planes could fan out on search-and-destroy missions across the offending countryside. 9

Under pressure from the Mexican government as well as Mexican and American businessmen,10 Operation Intercept was officially concluded on October 2, 1969. It was immediately followed by a new policy, called Operation Cooperation, which was publicly presented by John Ingersoll, former Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, as follows:

Presently, a less economically severe plan called Operation Cooperation has replaced Operation Intercept. While this is also an intensive surveillance effort involving the cooperation of numerous Federal agencies and the Government-of Mexico, it is less burdensome economically to those persons who are engaged in lawful commerce between the United States and Mexico.11

On March 11, 1970, more than five months after Operation Intercept was abandoned, a comprehensive agreement incorporating the goals of both Operation Intercept and Operation Cooperation was reached by United States and Mexican law enforcement officials. Noting that smuggling had steadily increased from the time Operation Intercept ended,

The United States and Mexico agreed on a program to fight the smuggling of narcotics. The agreement, signed here by Attorneys General of both countries, includes $1 million in technical assistance to Mexico for the eradication of poppy and marijuana fields. 12

This continuing effort was reported by Life as follows:

The recent easing of Operation Intercept, after pressure from the Mexican government, was only a shift in emphasis. Hundreds of extra customs agents are still stationed along the border, but they are intent now on the big time professonial smugglers instead of tourists. At the same time the U.S., in an attempt to stop drug traffic at its source, made available to Mexico an undisclosed amount of equipment ... along with American advisory personnel. 13

A Justice Department press release dated October 23, 1969 underlined the government's long-term projections:

The long-term effectiveness of the program - originally called Operation Intercept and now called Operation Cooperation - is expected to substantially increase in the near future because the Mexican government has indicated it will join the American government in a concentrated, intensive and joint effort to stop smuggling, to destroy the sources of these drugs in Mexico and to crack down on the large-scale distribution systems. 14

Thus, the aims and goals as well as many of the strategies and tactics employed during the days of Operation Intercept were incorporated into succeeding policies. They are still in effect today.


According to federal officials, the primary strategy behind Operation Intercept was to effect a drastic increase in the price of marihuana by substantially reducing the supply. Former Deputy Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, Co-chain-nan of the Special Presidential Task Force, was reported on as follows:

Deputy Attorney General Richard Kleindienst told a news conference the administration hopes to use the economic law of supply and demand instead of the often harsh criminal narcotics laws to break the campus and youth drug culture.

"We hope to drive the price so high it will be unavailable to students in colleges and high schools ... who are using it so commonly today." ... the administration would like to make marijuana smoking as expensive as using heroin. Few youths would experiment with it at that price, he reasoned. 15

It was reasoned that high prices would reduce use by marihuana users, as well as some potential marihuana users, by simply making this activity too expensive, while others still financially capable of purchasing the drug would find it to be unavailable. Although we had no way of knowing the incidence of marihuana use, not to mention any meaningful estimate regarding the number of potential users, this public policy effort was based on the belief that a great increase had already been realized.

Winick has suggested that "trends in incidence are ... largely determined by trends in arrests for the possession of marihuana."16 However, as compared to the opiate user, "it is much less likely that the marihuana user will come to the attention of the authorities."17 Sidney Cohen, Director of the Division of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse at the National Institute ot'Mental Health, estimates that "the chances of being jailed for using pot are probably less than one in 1,000; only about 1 percent of those arrested on marijuana charges are brought to trial and convicted."18 Although many estimates have been offered, there is little consistency and even less hard data in these approximations. Five months prior to Operation Intercept, the following estimate was offered by foriner Commissioner Goddard, as reported by Time.-

Obviously no one knows the total, since possession of a single cigarette is a crime. But Commissioner James L. Goddard of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cites estimates that as many as 20 million Americans may have used marijuana at one time. 19

Five months later, during the Operation Intercept period, Time published the following:

A recent administration task force 'conservatively' estimated that at least 5,000,000 Americans have used marijuana at least once. Stanley Yolles, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, puts the total far higher: at least 12 million and perhaps even 20 million.... Yolles estimates that 25 percent to 40 percent of all students have at least tried it; on many college campuses, particularly on the East and West coasts and near large cities, the figure is 50 percent. 20

Although national estimates regarding marihuana use leave a great deal to be desired, an increasing amount of data was available concerning student use in our high schools and colleges. Based on a study of undergraduates from four California colleges in 1966, Blum found that 11 percent at a Catholic college, 21 percent at a large private university, 21 percent at a junior college, and 3 3 percent at a state college had used marihuana.21 One year later (1967), Blum found that the percentage of undergraduates who had used marihuana had increased from 21 to 57 percent at the large private university.22 According to a study conducted in late 1968 at the same university, the percentage had risen from 57 to 69 percent. 23 Several studies of high school populations in California, conducted between 1966 and 1969, confirmed an unmistakable upward trend during this period.24

National data on student drug use, although less reliable, pointed in the same direction. Basing his estimates on statistical reports from various educational institutions, Louria cites the following trend:

At the beginning of 1968, the data on marihuana use suggested that perhaps 15 percent of college students would smoke marihuana at least once in a four year college career. By the end of the spring term of 1969, this estimate had approximately doubled. Some high schools and colleges now report a prevalence in the 70 to 80 percent range. 25

Shortly after Operation Intercept, Goode supplemented his own observations with data from two Gallup Polls, underlining the upward trend in marihuana use:

There has been a massive increase in the use of marijuana in the past few years. Although it is impossible to state exactly how much more is consumed now than even two or three years ago, a Gallup Poll conducted in the spring of 1969 indicated that almost one quarter of the American college population has tried marijuana at least once. (A similar Gallup Poll taken in 1967 showed the figure to be 6 or 7 percent.) 26

In his work, The Marijuana Smokers, Goode concludes: "The use of marijuana in colleges in 1960 was almost unknown; in 1970, it is commonplace. 27

Several years ago, Winick summarized the state of our knowledge as follows:

We do not therefore have a clear impression of just how many young marihuana users there are in the United States, or of how many older users there are. Even to guess at the number would be very difficult. Perhaps a cautious but accurate statement would be that there is a considerable amount of marihuana use in a number of American communities, especially some larger cities, and that young people represent a substantial proportion of the population of marihuana users. 28

Most of the hard data available concerning the extent of illegal drug use in the United States is deduced from official arrest and seizure statistics. Although such figures reflect enforcement policies as well as law violations, most professional observers agree that they do serve to underline certain social trends. Aside from informal observation, public relations releases, journalistic reports, research based on select populations and informed estimates, official statistics offer the only data from which real trends may be cited. This position is stated by Carey as follows:

For all the criticisms of official descriptions, certain official information is very worthwhile. Official arrest and seizure statistics are probably the best drug statistics there are. Seizures are reported in amounts and tend to be quite accurate. The amount and number of people arrested gives some picture of the volume of traffic. 29

Ultimately, it was the deductions, inferences, estimates, and reports based on official statistics, upon which the rationale for Operation Intercept was grounded.

According to official statistics compiled by Newsweek.

Over the past decade the number of drug arrests has more than quadrupled-and fully three-fourths of those arrested have been under 25. . . . Young people under 21 are being arrested for drug violations at the appalling rate of one every five minutes. 30

Arrest statistics and estimates of the extent of marihuana use specifically were published in Time.-

Arrests for marijuana law violations last year totaled 80,000: they increased tenfold between 1963 and 1968. Yet, for all the massive expenditures of police time and money, pot smoking is so widespread that there are roughly 25 times as many users as there are places to hold them in all the nation's prisons. 31

Estimates and statistics based on official drug seizures are also available. Based on Customs records, Time reports: "Last year alone, U.S. officials estimate 1,200 tons of marijuana were brought across the Mexican line. Only 70,210 pounds were detected." 32 Newsweek estimated this figure to be "nearly seven times the amount confiscated just two years earlier." 33

Further evidence of the growing drug use and drug smuggling phenomenon was offered by Eugene Rossides, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of the Customs Bureau and Secret Service. His testimony before the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency included the following statistics:

Drug seizures and arrests by the Bureau of Customs during the past three years reflect startling increases in drug smuggling. For example, Customs seized 78 pounds of heroin during fiscal year 1967, 246 pounds in 1968 and 311 pounds in 1969, and thus seizures quadrupled in a period of but two years. The same trend is reflected regarding seizures of opium, marijuana, hashish and the various other dangerous drugs....

It must be noted that very little hashish was seized prior to 1966. In 1966 and 1967, however, approximately 70 pounds of hashish were seized, 191 pounds in 1968, and 623 pounds in fiscal year 1969.

The seriousness and significance of these figures can only be appreciated when it is realized that it takes 625 pounds of raw marijuana to make one pound of hashish. Thus, the fiscal 1969 seizure represented the active ingredients in 390,000 pounds of marijuana.

Stepped up enforcement efforts and tremendous traffic increases both contribute to these impressively enlarged seizure statistics. The statistics show that a firm market for hashish has been established in the United States, and that there is a growing market for other drugs for illicit distribution and use. Arrests by the Bureau of Customs follow the same pattern. Drug smuggling arrests increased from 3,374 in fiscal year 1967 to 6,200 in fiscal year 1969 . 34

Official seizure and prosecution statistics were cited in the Special Presidential Task Force report:

Mexico is the primary source of nearly all of the high potency marihuana seized in the United States. Seizures of marihuana at the Mexican border have increased tremendously in the past five years. For example, in 1966 there were 10,416 pounds of marihuana seized at the Mexican border; whereas, in 1968 almost seven times this much, or 70,210 pounds were seized . 35

Regarding drug prosecutions in the United States, the Task Force refers to the increase as follows:

In recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of drug prosecutions. The Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported that there was a 31.9 percent increase in narcotic prosecutions during the first half of fiscal year 1969 as compared to comparable period in the previous fiscal year. Approximately one-half were commenced in the judicial districts abutting the Mexican border. 36

In the following statement, subtitled, "Present Evidence of Extent of Use," the Task Force draws upon official statistics as well as social surveys to point to what they conclude to be a rapid increase in marihuana use in this country. While some of these trends have already been cited, it is important to isolate those findings that the Task Force incorporated into its report, since the data accepted by the Task Force directly influenced its perception of the problem and ultimately its recommendations to the President:

Marihuana use has been rapidly increasing in the past five years. Although originally restricted to certain jazz musicians, artists and ghetto dwellers, it has now appeared among the middle and upper class. A conservative estimate of persons, both juvenile and adult, who have used marihuana at least once is about five million.

One of the most alarming aspects of the current drug crisis is the involvement of young people. In California alone juvenile arrests for drug offenses increased from 1,271 in 1961 to 14,112 in 1967. Of the 14,112 juvenile arrests in California during 1967, 10,987 were arrested for marihuana violations. To understand the full significance of this figure it must be compared with the year 1961 in which there were 401 arrests. In 1967 alone there were over 2,000 more arrests for marihuana violations than in the previous six years combined. 37

Two years ago, surveys in parts of the country where marihuana use is known to be high suggested that twenty percent of the college students in those areas had experience with marihuana. Present evidence, although spotty, suggests that as many as 60 percent of the students on some campuses have used it. Some students feel that official estimates are low, and that the true extent of drug abuse among college students is even higher. There are also many reports of increasing use of marihuana in high schools although there is not sufficient data to establish a countrywide pattern. Significantly, most recent college data indicated that many college users were first exposed to marihuana in high school. . . . Finally, there is growing evidence that the number of pre-teenagers who are using marihuana is increasing. 38

The seriousness of this social phenomenon, as perceived by the Special Presidential Task Force, is reflected in a concluding statement of the report:

The consumption in the United States of drugs and narcotics produced abroad and illegally imported into this country has reached such proportion as to be in the highest rank of those matters affecting the vital interests of the nation. 39

Thus, official statistics, as well as the comments of professionals in the drug-abuse field, all pointed to a growing disregard of law and the proliferation of illegal drug use and supply networks during the past decade. Although the total number of offenders involved was not and probably cannot be known, the upward trend appeared to be beyond doubt. At a time when this phenomenon was recognized in suburban areas as well as in the middle-class sections of our cities, Operation Intercept was implemented in order to curb this trend . 40


Students of evaluative research have recognized that the objectives of a policy or program can be classified in a number of different ways depending upon one's purposes.41 Suchman discusses the value of subdividing objectives into a logical hierarchy:

In principle, one may hypothesize an unlimited universe of objectives and subobjectives corresponding to the various steps or actions that make up a total program. While these steps usually comprise a continuous series of events, for evaluation purposes it is essential to subdivide them into some discernible hierarchy of subgoals, each of which may be the result of the successful achievement of the preceding goal and, in turn, a precondition to the next higher goals. 42

The trichotomization of objectives is one method of achieving this type of logical construction:

The chain of objectives is often trichotomized in the literature as immediate, intermediate, and ultimate goals. Immediate goals refer to the results of the specific act with which one is momentarily concerned, such as the formation of an obesity club; the intermediate goals push ahead toward the accomplishment of the specific act, such as the actual reduction in weight of club members; the ultimate goal then examines the effect of achieving the intermediate goal upon the health status of members, such as reduction in the incidence of heart disease. 43

For the policy under study, Operation Intercept, the objectives may be trichotornized as follows:

1. Immediate - A substantial reduction in the supply of marihuana coming into the United States from Mexico.

2. Intermediate A Substantial increase in the price of marihuana and a reduction in its availability to the marihuana user.

3. Ultimate A reduction of illegal drug usage in the United States

These multiple objectives were all incorporated in a statement offered to the press by the Deputy Attorney General:

The objective, according to Mr. Kleindienst, is to deter smugglers, so that the price of marijuana will rise and an estimated 30 million young Americans will be obliged to forsake the weed for lack of funds. 44

According to United States Customs documentation, other official sources, journalistic accounts, and street-comer observations, the supply of marihuana coming into the United States was allegedly curtailed to a significant degree during the Operation Intercept period. Illegal importation came to a near standstill and a backlog of supply crops was reportedly building up in the Mexican countryside. This situation was reported by John Ingersoll as follows:

Operation Intercept was very, very successful. While it was in effect, and even to this day, the flow of narcotics and marihuana from Mexico into this country was substantially curtailed. Marihuana is still in short supply in the United States, and in most places where it is available, at least the Mexican form, the prices have doubled and in some cases tripled.45

When questioned at a news briefing about the price of marihuana, Mr. Ingersoll responded:

It has varied over the country. In New York it has increased a fantastic amount. I think it was selling for in the neighborhood of $50 to $60 a pound before Operation Intercept, and it is now selling in the neighborhood of $350 a pound.

In other parts of the country, we have seen increases in about the same magnitude. In addition to the same price increase, there is a continuing shortage of marihuana. The shortage existed throughout the summer. But we would have normally expected that the harvesting of the crop in September and October in Mexico would have increased the amount available. We have not seen this. We do know that there are still huge stockpiles in Mexico which have not yet been moved.46

The U.S. Customs Service supplied the following price and supply estimates based on information obtained during Operation Intercept .4 7

Representative Area Price Supply
Los Angeles, California $125-150 per kilogram rose as high as $150-175 per kilogram and $60-100 per pound. (Depending upon quality) Available
El Paso, Texas $10 per lid (Approximately I ounce) Readily available


Houston, Texas $1 per cigarette

$25 per lid

$120-125 per pound

Not readily available
Denver, Colorado $25 per can

(Approximately 2-21/2 ounces)

Chicago, Illinois $50-200 a kilo (Poor quality) $200 per pound (Mexican manicured)

$100 per pound (Domestic)

Available, but sold "short" i.e. I pound equals 12 ounces
New York, New York $2 per cigarette

$10 per plastic bag (Approximately 1/2 - 1 ounce)

Not readily available

A government press release summarized the situation in cities and on college campuses across the nation:

Since increased inspection and surveillance along the border began September 21, surveys show that the supply of Mexican marijuana is "very scarce" or "not available" in many major American cities. Prices have risen substantially.... Mexican marijuana is scarce to very scarce in Kansas City, San Antonio, San Ysidro, Brownsville, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Francisco, Phoenix and Philadelphia.

It is reported unavailable in Miami and almost unavailable in New York. None of the new Mexican marijuana crop has been reported as available in Chicago, and short supplies in Los Angeles are "of extremely poor quality containing roots, sticks and assorted weeds."

A spot check of university and college campuses confirms the growing scarcity of Mexican marijuana. It is "almost unavailable" at Yale, Harvard, the University of California and the University of California at Los Angeles. A similar or even more tight supply condition exists at the University of Chicago, Rice University, Oklahoma University, Southern Methodist University and Northwestern University.

Prices have increased from 20 percent to 100 percent in Laredo-, the price of a marijuana cigarette is reported to have doubled to $2.00, and in New York a small plastic bag of marijuana is selling for $10.00, double the normal price.

Most reports say the available marijuana is the poorer quality plant which grows in the United States, rather than the preferred high-potency Mexican varieties. 48

The government's claims were substantiated by reports carried in the mass media. U.S. News & World Report confirmed the fact that "marijuana is scarce, and its price is rapidly rising.49 Reporters sent the following dispatches from major cities throughout the nation:

Los Angeles Police narcotics experts say a "considerable scarcity" of marijuana is developing. Marijuana that sold for $70-$90 a pound is up about a third, to $90-$120.

San Francisco Clifford Ojala, who heads the Berkeley police's special investigation bureau says: "Intercept hasn't affected us yet, but we anticipate greater scarcity of drugs. Marijuana was pretty scarce here prior to Intercept." . . . A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of marijuana costs $200 to $250, up from an average $110 to $120 three months ago. Lieut. Norbert Currie, head of San Francisco's narcotics bureau, said the price of marijuana has doubled in the last month or two. A "lid" about one ounce, which makes 45 to 50 cigarettes or "joints" - now costs $14 to $15. It had cost $7 for a year or so.

Chicago - The harvest of domestic marijuana is just ending and there is plenty of this local product on the market here, but the supply of imported marijuana has decreased sharply. Vernon D. Meyer, deputy regional director of the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, said imported marijuana jumped from about $200 a kilogram to $400 last June. Domestic marijuana sells for about $200 a kilo.

New York City - John J. Riley, assistant supervising agent for the U.S. Customs Bureau, said: "I've been told by people working the streets that the price of marijuana has almost doubled within the past ten days."

Washington, D.C. - Marijuana is increasingly hard to find here. The trend began in midsummer. A spokesman for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs declared: "No question about it, Intercept (on the Mexican border) is working ... the supply of marijuana is down everywhere, and the prices are up." 50

The situation was summarized by Life.-

The famine itself is real enough. It fell upon the country late last spring, introducing a season of privation worse than the oldest smokers can recall.... Only marijuana, the mildest and least menacing, has disappeared from the streets even in southern California. 51

And Newsweek concluded: "But this September, the news is grim. The nation's underground lies in the grip of the worst marijuana famine since the weed began its revival five years ago." 52'

Throughout the United States a critical supply shortage was evident and the price of marihuana rose significantly. Further, it was generally reported that quality had noticeably deteriorated. In terms of the immediate and intermediate objectives of this new policy curtailing importation, affecting price increases, and reducing availability Operation Intercept appeared to be a successful effort. However, public officials conceded that these objectives represented only a short-range goal. Ultimately, the underlying problem under attack was the rapid increase in illegal drug use in our society, particularly among the young. This was the theme stressed as seven separate Congressional bodies held hearings on the drug problem in the fall of 1969, including the House Select Committee on Crime, the Senate Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee, the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Special Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Narcotics, the House Education and Labor Education Subcommittee, the Senate Select Small Business Monopoly Subcommittee, the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Health Subcommittee, and the Senate District of Columbia Committee.53 It was also the theme stressed in the Special Presidential Task Force report upon which Operation Intercept was based.

Although there have been analyses of the effects of the policy on smuggling patterns and frequencies and on marihuana prices in the United States, as well as analyses of its repercussions on Mexican tourism, border town revenues, and vehicular traffic delays, we have little information on the impact of this severe marihuana shortage on the drug-using Population in the United States. Thus, the basic underlying questions concerning the effects of limited marihuana supplies in this country have remained unanswered.


This study will attempt to document and analyze those intended and unintended consequences of the Operation Intercept policy decision and of the resultant marihuana shortage, which had a direct effect upon the drug abuse problem in the United States. The focus will be on drug use patterns, subcultures, and distribution networks, specifically those social phenomena which the policy makers intended to influence during a unique period in American public policy and law enforcement history. 54

Although Operation Intercept was not put into effect until September 21, 1969, we will concentrate on the period from June 1969 until the end of Operation Intercept in October of 1969, since this entire period was characterized by an abnormal scarcity of marihuana in the United States. The marihuana shortage became evident in the early summer of 1969, due to a summer drought in Mexico, a concerted anti-smuggling campaign by United States and Mexican government authorities, and a growing demand for the drug in the United States. Many of the tactics and policies that were originated during the summer of 1969 continued beyond October. However, the effects of such policies upon marihuana supplies were no longer evident in the drug market. In this regard, then, the Operation Intercept era of June through October of 1969 can also be characterized as a unique period in the history of drug use in the United States.

The problematic situation to be considered in this study is the growing use of marihuana and other illegal drugs in our society. Operation Intercept, the public policy designed to limit the importation of illegal drug supplies (particularly marihuana) coming into the United States, is the public policy under study. This public Policy was conceived and implemented with the expressed intent of alleviating the aforementioned situation. Further, based on the analysis and recommendations of the Special Presidential Task Force, and on statements offered by official spokesmen for the federal government (Mr. Kleindienst and Mr. Ingersoll), the policy makers anticipated that the policy would move significantly in the desired direction. Thus, "a reduction of illegal drug use" (ultimate objective) was both the intended and anticipated consequence of the policy decision. Consequences that served to exacerbate the drug abuse problem in the United States may therefore be called unintended and unanticipated. From the vantage point of the policy makers, such unintended-unanticipated consequences must also be considered undesirable.

As explicitly stated in a wide range of sociological theories concerned with deviant behavior and social problems, there exists an intimate and reciprocal relationship between official public policy and the reactions and behaviors of those groups and individuals who are considered problematic by society at a particular historical time. The essential quality of this interrelationship has been succinctly stated by Schur:

Policy is not merely a reaction to an existing problem; rather, the relation between policy and problem is reciprocal. A specific policy may cause new problems, or make existing ones worse, and the sociologist must take this into account. 55

Merton has analyzed the most important and most problematic of these differential effects, those which are unanticipated, and has referred to these as "the unanticipated consequences of purposive social action." 56

A similar perspective has been brought to the study of social problems that entail legal as well as social considerations. According to Schur: "He [the sociologist] must consider the important ways in which specific legal definitions and law enforcement policies influence the development of such problems." 57 Based on his analysis of a wide range of social problem situations, Rose specifies eleven ways in which the law, as well as policy decisions and enforcement practices stemming from the law, may act to create new social problems or to expand and systematize existing ones.58 Many important theoretical contributions, such as Schur's concept of "crimes without victims" and Lemert's explication of "secondary deviation," have been derived from this type of approach to the problem-policy relationship.

The complexity of the problem-policy relationship is further complicated by the "time factor." Scholars of public policy formation emphasize the importance of this consideration in public policy making, as well as in analyses of the consequences of policy decisions. The consequences of policy decisions evolve over time. They affect and are affected by "the envelope of events and issues" surrounding policy decisions. Bauer used this phrase to refer to "those events and issues that must be considered as the context within which to analyze a given policy problem."59 And, "since policy making is by definition setting a course to be followed in the future, it is redundant to say that consideration of future consequences is part of the 'envelope' that affects the policy process."60 of course, "the envelope of events and issues" affecting the consequences of a policy decision includes antecedent events as well as a host of "surrounding circumstances." As stated by Suchman:

The effect of any single factor will depend upon other circumstances also being present and will itself reflect a host of antecedent events. These surrounding circumstances become an essential part of the "explanation" of the success or failure of attempts to influence any particular causal factor and combine to increase or decrease the probability but not the certainty of effective action. 61

In essence, "the consequences result from the interplay of the action and the objective situation." 62 Thus, the student of public policy and social problems must view the relationship as reciprocal, as changing over time, and as part of a social context including other relevant events and issues.

Another perspective to be assumed in the approach to the problem under study holds that any public policy entails specific and definable social costs as well as social gains. Such costs and gains, although not always foreseeable, are implicit in the choices and decisions of policy makers. As there are winners and losers in legal situations, advancing or maintaining some interests while others suffer setbacks, this is "also true on the level of broad public policy."63 Although the losers may not, on the level of public policy, be as easily perceived as in the case of a liability lawsuit or a criminal court disposition, the losers do, nevertheless, exist. As it is the "distinctive mission of the policy maker that he must allocate scarce resources and must mediate among conflicting sets of values and interests", 64 it is the mission of the social researcher to define these conflicts -and to define the consequences, the social losses as well as the social gains, of specific public policy decisions. Further, as stated by Justice Holmes in his essay "The Path of the Law," students of law, society, and public policy must eventually "consider the ends which the several rules seek to accomplish, the reasons why those ends are desired, what is given up to gain them, and whether they are worth the price. 65 This means that analysis can be taken one step further and "that the desired effect must itself be examined for its own consequences, both short and long term, desirable and undesirable."66 This process has been referred to as "social cost/social benefit accounting,"67 and has previously been applied to many evaluative research efforts in the drug abuse field.

Thus, the student of public policy must deal with the fact that a single public policy decision or social action program, with a unitary objective, may lead to both intended and unintended, anticipated and unanticipated, desirable and undesirable results. As stated by Opler: "All plans are sure to have mixed consequences."68 Such mixed consequences stem from the complexity of the social situation and of the social problem itself:

Social phenomena are so complex and interrelated that it is virtually impossible to change one facet without producing a series of other concomitant changes both undesirable and desirable.69

Although the consequences of such programs are sure to be "mixed," the policy makers' understanding of the complexity of the problem in question will determine the likelihood of achieving the desired ends. Since national policies are based on broad generalizations concerning the problem population, the soundness of policy predictions is rooted in the accuracy of these generalizations.

These perspectives underline the complex and interrelated nature of social phenomena generally and of social problems and deviant populations in particular. They also point up the difficulties and pitfalls inherent in the attempt to formulate and implement policies designed for the correction of problem situations. These perspectives will serve as a foundation for this analysis of the relationship between Operation Intercept, a national policy decision, the realization of its immediate and intermediate objectives, and the effects of this policy and these successes upon the drug abuse problem it was ultimately intended to combat. Therefore, the ways in which the nature and scope of the problem to a great extent defined the goals and techniques of the public policy will be explored. On the other hand, the multiple consequences of this policy decision will be viewed in terms of their relationship to certain relevant cultural realities, situational factors, subcultural orientations, and population complexities that were inherent in the problem situation itself.

The following cultural realities set the stage for the general trend of events and developments during the Operation Intercept era:

(1) the quantitative and qualitative changes in the marihuana-using population during the Sixties,

(2) the abandonment of the marihuana-to-heroin "stepping-stone" theory and the emergence of new multiple drug use patterns,

(3) the widespread availability of illicit drugs other than marihuana,

(4) the controversy within the "establishment" over the fairness and efficacy of the law enforcement approach to the marihuana issue at the same time that the public was demanding that something be done about the drug problem, and

(5) the fact that marihuana use had become for many an intrinsic element of a chosen lifestyle, which combined "getting high" with a nonconformist self-image and social involvement in the drug scene.

The specific drug use adaptations to the marihuana shortage reflected the complexity of the marihuana-using population. National policies may overlook such complexities, especially when there is great public pressure on the authorities to take some sort of decisive action.

While the policy makers may have been unaware of these complexities (Merton has observed that, "The most obvious limitation to a correct anticipation of consequences of action is provided by the existing state of knowledge,") 70 or may have chosen to ignore them, scholars of deviant behavior and the drug problem had focused their attention on just these issues.

In their studies of involvement in marihuana subcultures, both Carey 71 and Becker 72 employed a sequential model of deviance, in which each stage of involvement required a different level of explanation. Both studies stressed the heterogeneous quality of the general drug-using population. This observation is also implicit in the "deviant career" concept, as used by Erving Goffman,73 Edwin Lemert,'74 Marshall Clinard,75 Edwin Schur,76 and other students of deviant behavior. These authors all recognize the relationship between misguided "assumptions of homogeneity," public policy, and the effects of public policy. As stated by Carey, in a specific reference to drug-using populations: "The fact that investigators tend to regard all drug users as a single type and all drug scenes as part of a single piece would be of no consequence if it did not affect social policy." 77

However, such conceptions do have a profound influence upon social Policy and upon the results of such policies. Due to the uniform nature of public policy, officials implicitly assume that all norm violators of a general type (i.e., users of illegal drugs) will react in a similar fashion. Further, although we have a wide range of studies relating drug use modalities to subcultural involvements as well as socioeconomic positions and opportunities, the decision to curtail the supply of marihuana did not take these distinctions into account. It is postulated that the multiple effects of the Operation Intercept policy decision varied in accord with the age and degree of drug use involvement, as well as the various socioeconomic, environmental, and subcultural relationships in which individuals were enmeshed. Therefore, this report will analyze and compare the effects of the marihuana shortage upon selected individuals from various strata of society and in different stages of involvement in the drug scene.

This study tests three central hypotheses:

1. Although there was a general decline in the supply of marihuana during this period, the shortage was more evident in certain population groups within the New York City area than in others. Since the marihuana market is greatly influenced by noneconomic factors, the ability to obtain marihuana was not solely dependent on the users' financial resources.

2. The limited supply of marihuana led to a wide range of unintended and unanticipated behavioral and attitudinal consequences.

a. It is postulated that intended and anticipated responses were most common among sporadic users and among middle- to upper-class men and women who identified with conventional social institutions rather than a drug subculture or a counterculture movement.

b. In contrast, residents of low income black and Puerto Rican ghetto areas, and young whites involved in a drug-oriented lifestyle characterized by multiple drug use and strong peer influences, adapted to the shortage in ways that were clearly antithetical to the policy's stated goals.

3. It is posited that in certain population groups there was a substantial increase in the availability, use, and distribution of illegal drugs other than marihuana. The list of such drugs includes hashish, barbiturates, amphetamines, psychedelics, and heroin, as well as others. Among those who adapted to the marihuana shortage in this manner (such adaptations were most prevalent among ghetto residents and whites involved in a drug-oriented lifestyle), specific group indulgences reflected the differential availability and acceptability of the various illicit drugs ("progression opportunities") within the various drug subcultures.

a. It is expected that a substantial increase in barbiturate, amphetamine, and psychedelic drug use occurred within groups of whites in which experimentation with these substances was already taking place.

b. It is expected that increased heroin use was most common in drug-using ghetto peer groups, since heroin was already available in these areas and a tradition of use (thus, acceptability within drug-using peer groups) had been established prior to the shortage.

While all public policy decisions entail social losses as well as social gains, the following characteristics of the policy, and of the problem in question, made the Operation Intercept strategy particularly vulnerable to the kinds of unintended consequences that will be detailed in subsequent chapters:

1. Operation Intercept was a highly visible, much publicized, short-run, "peak effort" campaign.

2. It aimed to abruptly curb an illegal activity that had become increasingly entrenched in the culture during the previous ten-year period.

3. There existed a great deal of misunderstanding and distrust between those who devised the policy and those most likely to use drugs in a reckless manner.

4. Criticism of the legal norms pertaining to marihuana use was not confined to the population of norm violators, leading to a situation of extreme social discord and normative-legal conflict.

5. The Operation Intercept strategy represented a strict application of the traditional law enforcement approach to the marihuana issue, at a time when the bases of this approach (the anti-marihuana laws

and the theory that marihuana use leads to heroin addiction) were being called into question in many quarters.

6. Illicit drugs other than marihuana were, and continued to be, readily available throughout the marihuana shortage. Equally stringent measures were not or could not be taken to simultaneously curb the distribution and use of these other substances.

Although the following documentation and analysis will concentrate only on the Operation Intercept policy, it is felt that this study of the intended and unintended, anticipated and unanticipated, desirable and undesirable consequences of a specific "peak effort" deviance-control law enforcement campaign, aimed at abruptly curbing a particular mode of socially entrenched illegal behavior, can uncover data of empirical and theoretical value concerning the wide range of social effects of similar policy decisions. Further. it is believed that by studying the reactions of various drug-using populations during a period of severe marihuana shortage, we will gain greater insight into the complexity of illegal drug use modalities and subcultures in our society.


Formulation of the Problem

The stated research problem evolved in the summer of 1969. During this period, I was engaged in a research project concerned with the employability of rehabilitated drug addicts. This work brought me into close contact with drug addicts, drug users, and ex-drug addicts, as well as workers in the rehabilitation field. It was at this time that the marihuana shortage became evident. Although the mass media paid little attention to the situation until September and October of 1969, marihuana users - including ghetto youth, middle-class students and white-collar businessmen were well aware of this development. At the time, there was a great deal of talk among drug users and workers in the drug abuse field concerning the increasing use of drugs other than marihuana. During the summer and early fall of 1969, 1 informally observed and inter-viewed persons knowledgeable in this area. These contacts confirmed the impression that many marihuana users in New York City and surrounding suburbs had switched to other drugs during this period of a critical marihuana shortage. This situation appeared to continue through mid-fall 1969.

My research problem was not formulated until the early fall of 1969, during the days of Operation Intercept. It occurred to me and to several of my colleagues in the drug abuse field that this new government initiative, aimed at reducing the already scarce supply of marihuana, might in fact be counterproductive to our long-range efforts to curtail the more general drug abuse problem in this country. Although early observations had attuned me to negative consequences, I was openly willing to accept any findings reflecting positive effects stemming from the policy decision.

In the course of my initial investigations I became particularly interested in the wide range of consequences stemming from this single public policy effort. This interest was reflected in the definition of the research problem and in the methods I selected to go about studying it. Tape recordings of interview responses, the basic data upon which this descriptive documentation and analysis is based, commenced in mid-October 1969, shortly after the termination of Operation Intercept. However, prior to interviewing, I had to make a number of methodological decisions. These decisions will now be discussed.

Methodological Research Decisions

When one decides to examine the relationship between public policy and social consequences, one must first select a vantage point from which to view the situation. Since the "reality" of a situation is dependent upon those who define it, the selected vantage point will to a great degree determine the findings of the study. When the public policy in question is specifically aimed at deterring a deviant or criminal population from partaking in a proscribed activity, we may assume that the rule-makers and the rule-breakers will approach the situation with conflicting orientations. Further, each group may perceive the Policy and the effects of the policy quite differently.

In this instance, the official definition of public policy had received wide coverage in the mass media. The immediate goals, long-range objectives, and applied techniques of Operation Intercept had been presented publicly. Also, public officials had accumulated and supplied information on drug seizures, shortages, and prices during this Period. Their reports concentrated on those aspects of the situation on which they had accumulated data. On the other hand, we had little information on the way the drug-using population perceived the objectives and experienced the effects of this public policy. In this study, I focused on a wide range of consequences as seen from the vantage point of those groups and individuals personally involved in drug use and drug distribution. In other words, I sought to discover how the marihuana shortage and the public policy behind it affected the attitudes and activities of those persons for whom the public policy was designed. The first methodological decision was to go directly to these persons, the "rule-breakers," as well as to those whose work affords them a firsthand view of same, in order to ascertain this information.' 8

This decision leads the researcher to two other closely related methodological problems attaining access to information and selecting a sample. In all studies that view deviant or illegal behavior from the vantage point of the "outsiders," the first problem to be surmounted by the researcher is that of attaining access to information.

For the purposes of this study, I required information from a wide range of persons and groups who were in various stages of involvement in the drug scene during the Operation Intercept era. This access was accomplished in two ways. First, I received the cooperation of researchers and staff members who are employed by those voluntary agencies that are participating in the New York Association of Voluntary Agencies on Narcotics Addiction and Substance Abuse, Inc. These agencies serve a larger drug-abusing population than the entire New York City and New York State programs combined. Several of these voluntary agencies offered access to workers, clients, and available empirical materials. Since clients at these agencies represent only certain segments of the general drug-using population, it was also necessary to acquire ,information from persons and groups not so involved. Therefore, I advanced along a second avenue of inquiry. Personal contact was established with a range of outside sources, including some persons involved in the sale of illegal drugs in New York City. It was found that such contacts led to further contacts so that information sources proliferated rapidly. 79

Contacts with professionals and others in close association with drug users also "radiated out" from my initial voluntary agency contacts in a similar fashion. Therefore, data for this research project were obtained from various types of respondents through both agency and extra-agency contacts.

Utilizing selected points of contact was a particularly valuable technique for the purposes of this project. Unless the researcher confines himself and his findings to a nonrepresentative group of apprehended persons or those in a particular treatment clinic (nonrepresentative of the general drug-using population), it is not possible to select a probability sample of respondents. Since the universe, or population, defined as the "aggregate of all of the cases that conform to some designated set of specifications" 80 is not known, probability sampling techniques cannot be applied. Therefore "the choice is between data that do not pen-nit a statistical assessment of the likelihood of error and no data at all." 81

Of course, this problem is not unique to this particular study. It has confronted most research efforts in the field of deviant behavior. It is stated by Becker in his description of a study based on interviews with 50 marihuana users: "The sample is, of course, in no sense random; it would not be possible to draw a random sample, since no one knows the nature of the universe from which it would have to be drawn." 82 The process of selecting appropriate respondents was dictated by the nature of the research problem. Therefore, the selection was intended to locate persons and groups whose special experiences or social location defined them as of particular interest for these research purposes.

Social policy is defined by rule-makers and incorporated into the larger social structure, thus defining situational demands and conditions in terms of which individuals must act, think, and feel. When the sociologist decides to study the acts, thoughts, and feelings of those individuals and groups who are confronted and affected by social policy, he must select a method for tapping the subjective experiences of these persons. For my purposes, I selected the "focused interview,"83 as defined by Merton and Kendall, as the method to be employed for tapping this "subjective reality." This type of research interview was found to be most compatible with my research problem, background preparation, and initial research experiences.

Aided by the insights and observations of those who were involved in the drug abuse field on a day-to-day basis, I examined the overall structure of the situation as well as its "hypothetically significant elements." 84 The interview guide (see Appendix 11), intended to locate pertinent data as set forth in the hypotheses, focused on the subjective experiences of those exposed to the situation. In this regard the focused interview was particularly advantageous, allowing the interviewer to probe more deeply into individual attitudes and motives as well as unanticipated responses bearing on specific hypotheses. 85

It is also recognized that the "meaning" of responses to the situation must be seen in terms of the personal and social context of the respondent if we are to fully understand "the ways in which the stimulus material is imported into the experience world of subjects." 86 Thus, an examination of socioeconomic and subcultural conditions, as well as individual and peer group drug use patterns and involvements, will aid in our attempt to discover the personal and social contexts within which responses may be understood.


1. "Multi-Agency Force Halts Contraband," Customs Today, Vol. 6, No. 3 (December 1969), PP. 1,12.

2. "The Customs Bureau: Making 'A Trip' More Difficult," Government Executive, Vol. 1, No. 10 (December 1969), p. 2.

3. The full membership of the Special Presidential Task Force, including the department or agency represented by each member, is presented in Appendix 1: Members of the Narcotics, Marihuana and Dangerous Drugs Task Force.

4. Felix Belair, "Operation Intercept," The New York Times, October 2, 1969, p. 49. @ 1969 by The New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission.

5. Felix Belair, "U.S. and Mexican Merchants Score Drive on Marijuana Smuggling," The New York Times, September 25, 1969, p. 50. @ 1969 by The New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission.'

6. lbid.

7. "Operation Showboat," The Nation, October 13, 1969, p. 365.

8. "Pot: Year of the Famine," Newsweek, September 22, 1969, p. 37. Copyright Newsweek, Inc. 1969, reprinted by permission.

9. lbid.

10. Concerning pressures to abandon the Operation Intercept policy, see the comments of Senator Ralph W. Yarborough and Congressman William H. Natcher, addressed to Mr. Ingersoll and President Nixon, in Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 5, No. 43 (October 27, 1969), p. 1463.

11. Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 5, No. 43, p. 1459.

12. James M. Naughton, "President Moves to Caution Youth About Narcotics," The New York Times, March 12, 1970, p. 1. @ 1970 by The New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission.

13. "Marijuana: The Law vs. 12 Million People," Life, October 31, 1969, p. 33. Courtesy Life Magazine, 1969 Time, Inc.

14. Statement by Deputy Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Eugene Rossides, October 23, 1969, p. 1.

15. (Mimeographed.) UPI report (with permission of United Press International) in San Francisco Examiner, September 14, 1969, p. 1, cited by John Kaplan, Marijuana The New Prohibition, pp. 162, 338. Copyright 1970 by John Kaplan.

16. With permission of Thomas Y. Crowell Co., Inc. Charles Winick, "Marijuana Use by Young People," in Drug Addiction in Youth, ed. by Ernest Harms (New York: Pergamon Press, 1965), p. 19.

17. Ibid.

18. "Pop Drugs: The High as a Way of Life," Time, September 26, 1969, p. 74. Reprinted by permission from Time, The Weekly News Magazine; copyright Time, Inc.

19. "Pot: Safer than Alcohol?", Time, April 19, 1968, p. 52.

20. "Pop Drugs," p. 69.

21. Richard H. Blum, Students and Drugs (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1969), p. 189, cited by John Kaplan, Marijuana, p. 23.

22. ibid.

23. Emily Garfield and Michael Boreing, "Marijuana Use on a Campus" (1969), cited by John Kaplan,,Warijuana, p. 23.

24 See Juvenile Justice Commission, County of San Mateo, Narcotics Inquiry Report (November 16, 1967), pp. 43-44; Research and Statistics Section, Department of Public Health and Welfare, San Mateo, California, Five Mind Altering Drugs (1969), p. 20; Sanford Feinglass, "Drug Use in a Northern California High School District" (1968), all cited by John Kaplan, Marijuana, p. 24.

25. Donald B. Louria, "Drug Abuse: A Current Assessment," American Family Physician GP, Vol. 1, No. 6 (June 1970), p. 76.

26. Erich Goode, "The Marijuana Market." Reprinted with permission from The Columbia Form. Vol. XII, No. 4 (Winter 1969), p. 4 (copyright 1969 by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York), citing data from the American Institute of Public Opinion (Gallup Poll), Special Report on the Attitudes of College Students, No. 48 (Princeton, N.J.: AIPO, June 27 1969), p. 30.

27. Erich Goode, The Marijuana Smokers (New York: Basic Books, 1970), p. 3.

28. Winick, "Marijuana Use by Young People," p. 19.

29. James T. Carey, The College Drug Scene (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall, 1968), p. 204. Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc.

30. "Narcotics: New Look," Newsweek, February 9, 1970, p. 24.

31. "Pop Drugs," p. 74.

32. Ibid., p. 70.

33. "Pot: Year of the Famine," p. 36.

34. Testimony by Eugene T. Rossides, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of the Customs Bureau and Secret Service, before the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, on September 29, 1969.

35. Narcotics, Marihuana and Dangerous Drugs Task Force, Report of Special

Presidential Task Force Relating to Narcotics, Marihuana and Dangerous Drugs (June 6, 1969), p. 25. (Mimeographed.)

36. Ibid., pp. 49-50.

37. Statistics from California concerning arrests for drug law violations are particularly useful for two reasons: "First, California leads all other large states by a wide margin in the completeness and accuracy of its criminal statistics. Most states do not even separate marijuana offenses from those involving other drugs. Second, for a host of reasons, including the concentration there of scholars interested in the problem, marijuana use patterns and the like have been most carefully studied in California." John Kaplan, Marijuana, p. 22. The 10,987 juveniles arrested for marihuana violations in 1967 represent an increase of 7,118 such arrests as compared to 1966 (1966 total: 3,869 juveniles arrested for marihuana violations). See Carey, The College Drug Scene, pp. 4445. See First Report by the Select Committee on Crime, Marihuana, House Report No. 91-978, 91st Cong., 2d Sess. (April 6, 1970), Chart 111-A (Juvenile Drug Arrests: 1960-1967), p. 90.

38. Drugs Task Force, Report, pp. 9-1 1.

39. Ibid., p. 54.

40. President Nixon was well aware of the growing drug problem in middle-class neighborhoods during this period. In response to Secretary Finch of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, who had commented on marihuana use in upper-class neighborhoods, the President stated: "In other words, it gives a lie to the idea that this is something that simply happens to the poor. It is moving to the upper-middle class as well." See Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 5, No. 43 (October 27, 1969), p. 1466.

Edward A. Suchman, Evaluative Research (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1967), p. 51. 1967 Russell Sage Foundation. Used with permission.

42. ibid.

43. Ibid., pp. 51-52.

44. "Operation Showboat," p. 365.

45. Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 5, No. 43 (October 27, 1969), p. 1459.

46. Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs: News Briefing by John E. Ingersoll, Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 5, No. 43 (October 27, 1969), p. 1479.

47. Acting Assistant Commissioner (Investigations), Department of the Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, Washington, D.C. Personal correspondence.

48. Statement by Deputy Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Eugene Rossides, October 23, 1969, pp. 1, 2. (Mimeographed.)

49. Scarcity, Higher Prices, 'Crooks': Effects of Crackdown on Drug Trade," from copyrighted article in U.S. News & World Report, October 13, 1969, p. 50.

50. Ibid., pp. 48-49.

51. Barry Farrell, "Marijuana Famine," Life, August 22, 1969, p. 2013. Courtesy Life Magazine, 1969 Time Inc.

52. 'Pot: Year of the Famine," p. 36.

53. New Awareness Points Toward Softer Marijuana Laws," Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, Vol. XXVII, No. 51 (December 19, 1969), p. 2652.

54. Operation Intercept, a calculated series of decisions and actions, may legitimately be viewed as a public policy, as opposed to a routine action or a tactical decision although routine actions and tactical decisions were part of the new policy. See Raymond Bauer, "The Study of Policy Formation: An Introduction," in The Study of Policy Formation, ed. by Raymond Bauer and Kenneth Gergen (New York: The Free Press, 1968), p. 2.

55. Edwin M. Schur, Crimes Without Victims (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall, 1965), p. v. Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc.

56. Robert K. Merton, "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action," American Sociological Review, Vol. 1, No. 6 (December 1936), pp. 894-904.

57. Schur, Crimes Without Victims, p. 1.

58. Arnold M. Rose, "Law and the Causation of Social Problems," Social Problems, Vol. 16, No. I (Summer 1968), pp. 33-43.

59. Bauer, "The Study of Policy Formation," p. 17.

60. Ibid., P. 18.

61. Suchman, Evaluative Research, p. 85.

62. Merton, "Unanticipated Consequences," p. 894.

63. Edwin M. Schur, Law and Society (New York: Random House, 1968), p. 140.

64. Bauer, "Policy Formation," p. 3.

65. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Path of the Law," Harvard Law Review, Vol. 10 (March 1897), p. 476.

66. Suchman, Evaluative Research, p. 85.

67. Harold Kalant and Oriana Josseau Kalant, Drugs, Society and Personal Choice, with a Foreword by H. David Archibald (Ontario: General Publishing Co., 1971), Foreword.

68. Morris E. Opler, Social Aspects of Technical Assistance in Operation, Tensions and Technology Series, No. 4 (Washington, D.C.: UNESCO, 1954), p. 67, cited by Suchman, Evaluative Research, p. 49.

69. Suchman, Evaluative Research, p. 126.

70. Merton, "Unanticipated Consequences," p. 898.

71. Carey, The College Drug Scene, p. 7.

72. Howard S. Becker, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance (New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1963), pp. 23-24.

73. Erving Goffman, "The Moral Career of the Mental Patient," in Asylums (New York: Doubleday, 1961). See also Erving Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963).

74. Edwin Lemert, Social Pathology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951), pp. 74-76. See also Edwin Lemert, Human Deviance, Social Problems and Social Control (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967), Chapter 3.

75. Marshall B. Clinard, Sociology of Deviant Behavior (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1957), pp. 69-72.

76. Schur, Crimes Without Victims, p. 4. See also Edwin M. Schur, Narcotic Addiction in Britain and America: The Impact of Public Policy (Blcomington: Indiana University Press, 1962).

77. Carey, The College Drug Scene, p. 180.

78. During the initial problem formulation stage and the subsequent data collection process, a total of approximately 200 persons were contacted. Of these, 68 persons responded to the full tape-recorded interview. The responses of these 68 persons were excerpted for inclusion in the body of this report.

Although the large majority of interviews were conducted with respondents who were directly involved in drug use and/or drug distribution, information was also obtained from persons who, due to their professional responsibilities, were in a position to closely observe drug users and the patterns of their daily activities during this period. These informants, including social workers, therapists, journalists, and researchers in the drug abuse field, had gained an intimate knowledge of local drug scenes. It may be said that these persons were in fact compelled by their occupational role obligations to assess and work with the consequences of this and any government drug policy.

Of the 68 interviews used in this study, 17 were conducted with informants who were professionally rather than personally involved in drug use and drug distribution. Of these 17 informants, I 0 were employed by conventional social institutions (i.e., daily newspapers, drug treatment clinics, community centers), while 7 worked for "underground" or anti-establishment media.

Of the 51 drug users and/or distributors interviewed, 19 were younger than 20 years of age, 23 were 20 to 25 years old, and 9 were older than 25 years of age. A total of 42 were white (29 males, 13 females), and 9 were black or Puerto Rican (7 males, 2 females). All of the black and Puerto Rican respondents resided in low-income ghetto areas, while all but 2 of the white respondents lived in middle- to upper-class sections within the New York City area.

In this regard, research experiences were similar to those encountered by Carey and his associates in their study of drug-using groups in Berkeley, California. As stated by Carey (The College Drug Scene, p. 204.)

The investigator must use the services of those persons whom he knows to be members of the population he studies or enlist the support of people who can recommend him to such persons. As he talks to his subjects, they gradually develop a degree of trust in him and his work and become more and more willing to cooperate and to encourage others they know to cooperate. The study radiated out from the selected points of contact which we were able to utilize within the deviant subculture.

80. Claire Selltiz et al., Research Methods in Social Relations (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962), p. 509.

81. Ibid., p. 539.

82. Howard S. Becker, "Marihuana: A Sociological Overview," in The Marihuana Papers, ed. by David Solomon (New York: The New American Library, 1968), p. 70.

83. Those characteristics that distinguish the "focused interview" from other types of research interviews have been outlined by Merton and Kendall as follows:

1. Persons interviewed are known to have been involved in a particular concrete situation: they have seen a film; heard a radio program; read a pamphlet, article or book; or have participated in a psychological experiment or in an uncontrolled, but observed, social situation.

2. The hypothetically significant elements, patterns, and total structure of this situation have been previously analyzed by the investigator. Through this content analysis he has arrived at a set of hypotheses concerning the meaning and effects of determinate aspects of the situation.

3. On the basis of this analysis, the investigator has fashioned an interview guide, setting forth the major areas of inquiry and the hypotheses which locate the pertinence of data to be obtained in the interview.

4. The interview itself is focused on the subjective experiences of persons exposed to the pre-analyzed situation. The array of their reported responses to this situation enables the investigator:

a. To test the validity of hypotheses derived from content analysis and social psychological theory, and,

b. To ascertain unanticipated responses to the situation thus giving rise to fresh hypotheses.

See Robert K. Merton and Patricia L. Kendall, "The Focused Interview," from American Journal of Sociology, Vol. LI, 1946, pp. 541-557 in The Language of Social Research, ed. by Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Morris Rosenberg (New York: The Free Press, 1966), pp. 476-477. Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. and The University of Chicago Press.

84. Ibid., p. 476.

85. Kenneth Gergen, "Methodology in the Study of Policy Formation," in Bauer and Gergen, The Study of Policy Formation, p. 222.

86. Merton and Kendall, "The Focused Interview," p. 487.


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