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Miscellaneous Statements on Drug Policy

Recent Comments on the War on Drugs

Extracts from a variety of recent books and publications regarding the war on drugs.

Abram, K. M. & Teplin, L. A. (1991 October). Co-occurring disorders among mentally ill jail detainees: Implications for public policy. American Psychologist, 46 1036-1045.

  • "...jails contain disproportionate numbers of severely mentally ill persons with codisorders" (Abram & Teplin, 1991, p. 1036).
  • "Jails, unlike many treatment facilities, have no requirements or restrictions for entry" (Abram & Teplin, 1991, p. 1042).
  • "Despite the criminal justice system's legal mandate to provide mental health treatment (Bowring v. Godwin, 1977; Estelle v. Gamble, 1976; Jones v. Wittenberg, 1971), few mentally ill detainees are detected or diverted to mental health or substance abuse facilities" (Abram & Teplin, 1991, p. 1043).

SAGE Criminal Justice System Annuals. "...focus on and develop topics and themes that are important to the study of criminal justice. Each edited volume combines multiple perspectives to provide an interdisciplinary approach that is useful to students, researchers, and policymakers."

DRUG TREATMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE - (Sage criminal justice system annuals; v.27) - James A. Inciardi, Editor - Sage Publications (1993); Newbury Park, California.

Inciardi, J. A. (1993). Introduction: A response to the war on drugs. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 1-4). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "The American crack experience is fairly well known, having been reported, and perhaps overreported, in the media since early 1986" (Inciardi, 1993, p. 1).
  • "As asset forfeiture provisions, RICO [Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] and CCE [Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute] mandate forfeiture of the fruits of criminal activities" (Inciardi, 1993, p. 1).
  • "At state and local levels, zero tolerance gave birth to the many 'user accountability' statutes. User accountability was based on the notion that if there were no drug users there would be no drug problems and that casual users of drugs, like addicts, were responsible for creating the demand that made trafficking in drugs a lucrative criminal enterprise. As such, the new laws called for mandatory penalties for those found in possession of small quantities of drugs (Inciardi, 1993, p. 2).

Wellisch, J., Anglin, M. D., & Prendergast, M. L. (1993). Treatment strategies for drug-abusing women offenders. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 5-29). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "The Federal Corrections Institute in Lexington, Atwood Hall Drug Abuse Program [AHDAP] is a traditional 12-step program in which drug abuse is viewed as a disease that leads to physical deterioration, emotional instability, and spiritual bankruptcy" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 11).
  • Some of the requirements for admission to this program (AHDAP) are "...no serious medical, psychiatric, or psychological problems; and no violent institutional infractions within the last 12 months" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 11).
  • Re: enrollment in treatment programs while incarcerated--"Most authorities agree that too early enrollment may erode the gains made in treatment because the prisoners will remain in an environment--the prison--that is conductive to relapse" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 21).
  • "Drug abuse treatment requires individuation and a degree of flexibility that is not consonant with most prison operations" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 21).
  • "Because dependence on drugs is a chronically relapsing condition, in most cases several cycles of treatment, aftercare, and relapse will occur" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 22).
  • "...since a large percentage of incarcerated women have been subjected to physical and sexual abuse, they require counseling and psychological support in addition to general health care" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 24).

Pan, H., Scarpitti, F. R., Inciardi, J. A., & Lockwood, D. (1993). Some considerations on therapeutic communities in corrections. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 30-43). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "There are many phenomena in the prison environment that make rehabilitation difficult" (Pan, Scarpitti, Inciardi, & Lockwood, 1993, p. 34).
  • "Finally, there is the prison subculture--a system of norms and values that tend to militate against rehabilitation" (Pan et al., 1993, p. 34).

Peters, R. H. (1993). Drug treatment in jails and detention settings. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 44-80). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Federal, state, and local responses to the drug epidemic have focused on reducing the supply of drugs through enhanced law enforcement efforts, minimum mandatory sentences for drug offenses, and unprecedented construction of new jails and prisons. Efforts aimed at drug suppliers and users have not succeeded in reducing the availability of drugs in most communities (Peters, 1993, p. 45).
  • "The role of jails has expanded in the past 20 years to address the needs of special inmate populations, including substance abusers, the mentally ill, and individuals with educational and vocational deficits. These changes have been affected in part by the recognition that jails frequently serve as the repository for socially disadvantaged populations (e.g., mentally ill, substance abusers, the homeless) that move somewhat fluidly from one community institution to another" (Peters, 1993, p. 46).
  • "Survey findings indicate that a small fraction of jail inmates in need of substance abuse treatment were receiving services (Peters, 1993, p.49).
  • "The CD [Chemical Dependency] approach views the development of addictive disorders as a product of physiological, psychological, and social factors. Inmates are taught that drug dependence is a lifetime disorder. During periods of abstinence, the 'disease' is in remission, but the individual must always be concerned with reoccurrence of symptoms" (Peters, 1993, p. 50).
  • "...narcotic agonists such as methadone, which replace the physiological need for opiates,...have been found to be useful in the treatment of offenders who are addicted to opiates" (Peters, 1993, p. 52).
  • "Methadone treatments have been researched extensively and have been shown to be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings" (Peters, 1993, p. 52).
  • "Use of this approach [methadone] is usually reserved for individuals who have not been able to achieve abstinence in drug-free programs. Use of methadone is governed by federal regulations that require narcotic dependency for at least 1 year prior to the onset of treatment and previous involvement in treatment. Other federal guidelines require drug testing, counseling, and development of individualized treatment plans (Office of Technology Assessment, 1990). Several states have also adopted regulations governing dosage levels and quality assurance monitoring" (Peters, 1993, (p. 52).
  • "Methadone has been used infrequently in jail settings, because, in part, of a reluctance by administrators to provide narcotics to inmates and related issues of medical supervision and concerns of compromising institutional security" (Peters, 1993, p. 52).

Martin, S. S. & Inciardi, J. A. (1993). Case management approaches for criminal justice clients. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 81-96). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "As case studies have repeatedly pointed out, such stressful life events as divorce or loss of employment can play a critical role in precipitating a relapse to drug use" (Martin & Inciardi, 1993, p. 82).

Dembo, R., Williams, L., & Schmeidler, J. (1993). Addressing the problems of substance abuse in juvenile corrections. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 97-126). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Research has repeatedly found that criminal behavior increases following addiction, and that arrests for drug offenses and property offenses decline with decreasing frequency of drug use" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 113).
  • "Methadone maintained clients have better outcomes in terms of illicit drug use and other criminal behavior than when not treated or detoxified and released or when methadone is tapered down and terminated. Clients who stay in treatment longer have better outcomes than clients with shorter treatment courses" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 116).
  • "It is counterproductive to treat youths in residential settings, only to return them unassisted to environments that supported their problem behavior in the past" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 119).
  • "In treating a person for dysfunctional drug use, it is important to appreciate that altering a drug-dependent existence is often a prolonged process involving periodic relapses to drug use" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 121).

Swartz, J. (1993). TASC--The next 20 years: Extending, refining, and assessing the model. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 127-148). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Addicts who are fortunate enough to have been well educated, have steady incomes, and good social support and thus do not need to turn to crime to support their addictions, often experience...problems with relapse. The fact that many [Treatment Alternative to Street Crimes] TASC clients more often than not have additional burdens and problems to overcome makes relapse even more understandable in their circumstances" (Swartz, 1993, p. 135).


Inciardi, J. A. (1986). The war on drugs: Heroin, cocaine, crime, and public policy. Palo Alto: Mayfield Publishing Company.

  • The Atlanta Georgian, 27 February 1935, ran a poem named 'The Jaws of Death' by George E. Phair: "A slinking thing with hellish sting, The reptile known as Dope.

Its poison breath is living death Beyond the pale of hope,

And in the blight of endless night Its countless victims grope.

In stricken homes the reptile roams On hearthstones bare and bleak.

Ambition dies in youthful eyes, Slain by the noxious reek.

For Dope is strong and prospers long Because the laws are weak" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 20).

  • "...Anslinger's crusade appears to have been the ravings of a madman. Using the mass media as his forum, Anslinger described marijuana as a Frankenstein drug that was stalking American youth" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
  • In a magazine, he wrote: "The sprawled body of a young girl lay crushed on the sidewalk the other day after a plunge from the fifth story of a Chicago apartment house. Everyone called it suicide, but actually it was murder. The killer was a narcotic known to America as marijuana, and to history as hashish. It is a narcotic used in the form of cigarettes, comparatively new to the United States and as dangerous as a coiled rattlesnake...(Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
  • The same magazine, American Magazine, ran this from Anslinger: "An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home, they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an ax he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze....He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said that he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called "muggles," a childish name for marihuana [sic]" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
  • "Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with female students (white), smoking (marijuana) and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result pregnancy. Two Negroes took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of marihuana [sic]. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
  • "During the early decades of the twentieth century, commentaries about cocaine took on racial overtones, precipitated by white fears of the blacks' sexual and criminal impulses. In 1910, for example, testimony before a committee of the House of Representatives referenced these fears and also included almost every white stereotype of blacks: The colored people seem to have a weakness for it [cocaine]. It is a very seductive drug, and it produces extreme exhilaration. Persons under the influences on it believe they are millionaires. They have an exaggerated ego. They imagine they can lift this building, if they want to, or can do anything they want to. They have no regard for right or wrong. It produces a kind of temporary insanity. They would just as leave rape a woman as anything else and a great many of the southern rape cases have been traced to cocaine" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 72).
  • "Indeed, heroin is a powerful narcotic. Several times more potent than morphine, it suppresses both respiratory and cardiovascular activity, has strong analgesic effects and a high-addiction potential. At overdose levels, heroin can produce coma, shock, and ultimately, respiratory arrest and death" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 52).
  • "As the result of Anslinger's crusade, on August 2, 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was signed into law, classifying the scraggly tramp of the vegetable world as a narcotic and placing it under essentially the same controls as the Harrison Act had done with opium and coca products" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 23).
  • Inciardi (1986, p. 204) criticizes psychiatrist Thomas Szasz's point that "...the drug problem in America was created in great part by the very policies designed to control it" by saying that in Szasz's book there were "numerous errors of fact combined with his caustic abuse of the English language." Likewise, Inciardi (1986, p. 204) does not agree with Washington attorney Rufus King who takes a similar view and has described American drug-control policies as "a 50-year folly, a misguided and ineffective endeavor." make footnote: 50-year folly--Rufus King, The Drug Hang-Up: America's Fifty-Year Folly (New York: W. W. Norton, 1972). Again disagreeing, Inciardi (1986, p.204) quotes Alfred R. Lindesmith from an article in The Nation:

For 40 years the United States has tried in vain to control the problem of drug addiction by prohibition and police suppression. The disastrous consequences of turning over to the police what is an essentially medical problem are steadily becoming more apparent as narcotic arrests rise each year to new records and the habit continues to spread, especially among young persons. Control by prohibition has failed; but the proposed remedies for this failure consist mainly of more of the same measures which have already proved futile.

Inciardi (1986, pp.204-206) lumps these social scientists together and dismisses them as "armchair crusaders who had little direct contact with life in the street worlds of heroin, cocaine, and crime [who]....suggest that federal drug policies are simply an outgrowth of the government's practiced benign stupidity."

  • In contrast with those views, Inciardi (1986, pp.204-205) defines and disagrees with the Marxist perspective of Criminologists D. Stanley Eitzen and Doug A. Timmer "that the American approach is deliberately structured to fail because the political economy of the United States needs the private accumulation of capital and profit that drug trafficking provides. For that reason, they state, the drug trades are not only tolerated, but condoned as well." Criminologists Eitzen and Timmer are dismissed by Inciardi (1986, p. 205) because he believes they "read far too much into an erroneously documented statement" by William J. Chambliss in On the Take:

...the heroin traffic from Southeast Asia, especially from the Golden Triangle of northern Thailand, Burma, and Laos, expanded production as a new source of heroin for the incredibly lucrative American market....It is not known whether this new heroin source was linked to Republican politicians, but the fact that the CIA and the South Vietnamese governments under general Ky and Thieu actively aided the development of this heroin source suggests that such a link is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Inciardi (1986, p. 205) scoffs at the translation of "this into the 'private accumulation of capital and profit'" argument but does accept the conclusion of Alfred W. McCoy in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia "that the heroin trade in Southeast Asia grew to some extent with the complicity of the U.S. government representatives in that part of the world...[due to] American anticommunist zeal."

  • Ask Dr. Brown about the Iran-Contra coverup movie we saw about Oliver North, Reagan, etc. Doesn't that give more credence to the Marxist perspective of Eitzen and Timmer?
  • It is absolutely amazing to me how many of our rights we are willing to give up in the off chance that we can put a dent in the drug problem. "Ignorant men don't know what good they hold in their hands until they've flung it away" (Sophocles).
  • "Dr. William Pollin, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse:...If there were no law enforcement, then the number of cocaine users would be up there in the same numbers with smokers and drinkers" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 211). Pray tell, how does he know? It is inconceivable that those who demand scientific studies and well-documented evidence insist on using these off-the-wall quotes regarding something that no one knows for certain is going to happen.

DRUGS AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Volume II. Sage Criminal Justice System Annuals. J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.). 1974.

King, R. (1974). "The American system": Legal sanctions to repress drug abuse. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 17-38). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "...ambitious lawmakers and empire-building policemen appear to have created social attitudes instead of, as the system is supposed to work, merely reflecting and responding to them" (King, 1974, p.18).
  • "During the Civil War opium and morphine were in such demand to control dysentery and ease the suffering of wounded soldiers that addiction among veterans was tolerantly known as 'the Army disease" (King, 1974, p.18).
  • In the early 1900s, the approximately 200,000 "victims [of addiction] were believed to be preponderantly female, middle-aged, white, Southern, rural, and from privileged or middle classes. No one then dreamed of associating drug abuse with criminality" (King, 1974, pp. 18-19).
  • The Food and Drug Act of 1906 "...required drug manufacturers who made use of interstate commerce to disclose the ingredients in their products by appropriate labeling" (King, 1974, p. 19).
  • In the meantime, China lost the Opium Wars and "...according to one estimate, 27 percent of the adult male population of the country was addicted in some degree" (King, 1974, p. 19).
  • "On the other side of the world in Washington, Yankee lawmakers were being swept away by missionary and moralistic zeal...[and in 1908] President Theodore Roosevelt proposed that all powers concerned with the international opium traffic should meet to consider cooperative measures to put an end to it" (King, 1974, p. 20.)
  • "Out of this came the Shanghai Conference (1909) and the Hague Opium Convention, signed in 1912 by delegates from thirteen governments. Under this Convention...each High Contracting Party proposed to bind itself to restrain its nationals from trafficking in opium and coca products, and to impose domestic controls on its citizens to curb non-medicinal uses" (King, 1974, p. 20).
  • "The first federal control enactment, the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914...relied upon a then extraordinary extension of the federal tax power to require manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers of opiates and coca products to register with the Treasury Department and to keep records of transactions involving these substances" (King, 1974, p. 19). This is how Congress intended to fulfill their obligation to the Hague Opium Convention.
  • "And it bears stressing again that in that day federal intervention into matters of local choice and personal concern was virtually unprecedented" (King, 1974, p. 21).
  • "...it was even possible for addicted persons of sufficient prominence and good connections to be 'treated' with tacit Bureau protection. The payoff for this was what Commissioner Anslinger wanted in the way of appropriations for his forces, and new federal legislation he usually got virtually for the asking" (King, 1974, p. 24).
  • Re: Marijuana Tax Act of 1937--"So the result was merely another nationwide enforcement empire and new categories of federal crime" (King, 1974, p. 25).
  • "By 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was pushed through Congress, the T-men had begun to sound another note that would become their major theme for the ensuing decade: the charge that American drug problems were caused by too-light penalties for second and subsequent drug offenses" (King, 1974, p. 25).
  • At the same time the Senate Judiciary Committee held its hearing, the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Bar Association (ABA) made a study of the drug problem. The five recommendations which came out of this included

"a comparative study of federal and state laws" and "an evaluation of the effectiveness of current enforcement policies". The Bureau of Narcotics threw a fit and attacked with 'comments' on the recommendations and interference with the project's funding (King, 1974, 28).

Glaser, D. (1974). Interlocking dualities in drug use, drug control, and crime. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 39-56). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Daniel Glaser (1974, p.39) described two types of drug use. The first is "instrumental", and that means a drug is used "for a specific physiological effect." An example of instrumental drug use would be to take an aspirin for a headache, a cold preparation to relieve symptoms of sneezing and runny nose, or the addict taking opiates to relieve withdrawal symptoms. "Appreciative" use of drugs is "done to conform to socio-cultural expectations in particular situations where shared norms and values encourage it"; it is expected that a person have a drink containing alcohol at a cocktail party.
  • "Continued heavy use of opiates will almost always acquire an instrumental aspect when physiological dependence occurs and the users discover that opiates relieve withdrawal symptoms; this instrumental aspect is superimposed on any appreciative basis for its use" (Glaser, 1974, p. 41). In other words, no matter how a person starts using opiates--appreciatively, socializing with friends, or instrumentally, coping with pain, ultimately use always becomes instrumental in relieving withdrawal symptoms.
  • "The newer pattern of opiate use predominant in the United States since World War II is initially more appreciative than instrumental. It occurs mainly among youth in urban areas who have a background of delinquency, of other drug taking, and of failure or dissatisfaction in conventional educational and occupational pursuits. Minority group youth from poor families are over-represented in this newer pattern of opiate use" (Glaser, 1974, p. 41).
  • Government agencies use prohibition and regulation to control drug use. "Prohibition is directed at suppressing all use of a drug, while regulation is concerned only with restricting the circumstances, procedures, and subjects of drug use" (Glaser, 1974, p. 41-42).
  • "The 1914 Harrison Act of the United States and the 1920 Dangerous Drug Act of Great Britain are very similar, both being based on a 1912 International Conference at the Hague to promote opiate regulation ....[but] the American system gradually became one of prohibition,...while the British system remained more limited to regulation. Since the post-World War II legislation, opiate use has become a far costlier problem for American society than it was prior to World War II" (Glaser, 1974, p. 42).
  • "Regulation rather than prohibition prevails in most of Europe and many other parts of the world. A salient advantage of regulation is that it permits files of police and health authorities to be much more complete and current on the number and characteristics of drug users than files where prohibition prevails and drug users are motivated to keep their drug use hidden from authorities. Further consequences of a prohibition rather than a regulation approach to drug control become evident when one examines how problems of policing depend upon the behavior to be policed" (Glaser, 1974, p. 43).
  • "Prohibition of drugs in great demand is feasible only in a tightly regulated society or in an isolated community; it has never closed more than a minute percentage of the actual or potential channels of supply for any profitable illegal drug market in America" (Glaser, 1974, p. 44).
  • "An acute shortage of opiates for addicts developed in the United States during World War II because shipments from opium-producing countries were cut off or impaired by enemy military actions....Since money was plentiful and addicts were desperate, the price they would pay for illegal opiates increased, and the tremendous profits in narcotics selling attracted professional criminals (Glaser, 1974, p. 46).
  • "The entrance of organized crime into large-scale narcotic trafficking after World War II more than met the demand of the older instrumental addict; these organizations also developed a new and greater market of appreciative users in the drug peddlers' home neighborhoods, the slums" (Glaser, 1974, p. 46).
  • Two direct relationships between drugs and crime are mentioned in Daniel Glaser's (1974, pp. 47-48). Interlocking Dualities: The first is "the fact that prohibition laws make drug use or possession a crime in itself [and] that the chemical action of a drug on the human body causes a person to commit crimes. This is the 'dope fiend' mythology widely promulgated by proponents of prohibition laws, notably those against alcohol, opiate, and marijuana. They allege that many assaults, robberies, and rapes result from users being 'crazed' by these drugs."
  • "...three indirect relationships of drug use to crime are all, in fact, effects of prohibition policies much more than of drug use itself: ...persons who are addicted but cannot afford the price of drugs will commit crimes to get money to pay for drugs [so] the first of the distinctly prohibition-engendered types of crime is addiction-supporting professional property crime" (Glaser, 1974, p. 49). The involvement of large-scale criminal organizations in the sale of illegal drugs is a second effect of prohibition....Because these criminal entrepreneurs operate outside the law in their drug transactions, they are not bound by business etiquette in their competition with each other, in their collection of debts, or in their non-drug investments. Terror, violence, extortion, bribery, or any other expedient strategy is relied upon by these criminals not only in the sale of illegal goods or services, but also in their investments in legitimate businesses of all types, from taverns to savings and loan associations. The most serious impact of prohibition of drug use on crime probably is that which is most indirect--its consequences for the total administration of justice in a society" (Glaser, 1974, pp. 49-50) vis-a-vis erosion of the Bill of Rights, disrespect for the law in general, and shady enforcement policies.
  • "Social movements to enact prohibition laws have been promoted by 'moral entrepreneurs' when they regarded a drug as dangerous and promulgated an interpretation of its use as morally reprehensible (Becker, 1963). When that which is to be prohibited is used only by small or low-status segments of the population...passage of the legislation reflects a combination of the prohibitionists' exaggerated accounts of the harmful effects of these substances and the ignorance or indifference on this matter of the rest of the population. Under these circumstances legislators have a highly vocal group against them if they oppose prohibition, but there is little objection if they support it, so they vote for drug prohibition as though they were voting for Motherhood, even when they have no direct awareness [of it] as a problem" (Glaser, 1974, p.51). THIS GOES DIRECTLY TO THE POLICY OF DISCRIMINATION OF POOR AND MINORITIES, THOSE WHO THE LAWS DEFILE. A PERSON WITH CLOUT IS ABLE TO DETOUR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND OBTAIN HIS/HER medicine THROUGH PROPER CHANNELS. E.G. MCCARTHY.
  • Glaser (1974, p. 50) predicted that "the ultimate form of control for all non-medical drugs in the United States will greatly resemble the present controls for alcohol." UNFORTUNATELY, IN SPITE OF THE OVERWHELMING ARGUMENTS FOR DECRIMINALIZATION, WE CONTINUE TO PLUNGE HEADLONG INTO MORE REPRESSIVE LAWS, FURTHER BASTARDIZATION OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS, AND THE FURTHERANCE OF THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE "DRUG FIEND".
  • "Probably in the future drugs will be available to those who crave them sufficiently, with no risk of criminal prosecution if they use authorized procurement procedures and only fines or other lesser penalties for illegal use....[and] the dispensation of more dangerous drugs will doubtless be under medical supervision" (Glaser, 1974, p. 51).

Gould, L. C. (1974). Crime and the addict: Beyond common sense. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 57-76). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Drug addiction is a major contributor to our nation's crime problem....Since possessing illegal drugs is itself a crime, and since addicts have to possess drugs in order to be addicts, addiction increases the total amount of crime" (Gould, 1974, p. 57).
  • "Of the seven 'serious' crimes included in the FBI Index of Crimes (manslaughter, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, and auto theft) Americans are most fearful of the first four, crimes against the person (President's Crime Commission, 1967a: 87-89). But with the exception of robbery, these are not the crimes that drug addicts are most likely to commit" (Gould, 1974, pp. 58-59).
  • "To explain the epidemic qualities of drug use, one could turn to the works of Erikson (1966) and Durkheim (1958) who argue that crime becomes epidemic in form during periods of extreme social stress. Indeed, according to these sociologists, it is through the resolution of these epidemics that societies realign their normative boundaries and reaffirm the validity of their normative order" (Gould, 1974, p. 72).
  • The call for stiffer punishment is the 'classical-utilitarian' theory which was "the prevailing theory at the time our nation was founded" (Glaser, 1974, p. 71) but has "little currency among modern criminologists."
  • "Positivist criminological theory is the hypothesis that people commit crime because of psychological, biological, or social factors in their present makeup or personal backgrounds....When crime has been on the increase, all positivist criminologists have been able to do is recommend treatment and rehabilitation" (Gould, 1974, p. 71).

McGlothlin, W. H. & Tabbush, V. C. (1974). Costs, benefits, and potential for alternative approaches to opiate addiction control. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 77-124). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Methadone maintenance-1 (MM-1) is the type of program currently being offered in a number of clinics imposing strict control. Urines are closely monitored and patients are confronted with evidence of illicit drug use. Take-home methadone is only permitted when there is continuing evidence of abstinence from heroin and other drugs, plus social stability. Patients are strongly urged to seek employment and are dismissed from the program for repeated drug use, alcoholism, irregular participation, and illegal behavior" (McGlothlin & Tabbush, 1974, p. 87).
  • "A review of current methadone programs indicates that some 25 to 50 percent of the patients are indeed motivated by this aspect. They do want out of the addiction routine and are attracted by the normal rewards afforded by working, family, etc. They make minimum demands on the program staff, do not attempt to circumvent the treatment via substitution of other drugs, and often demonstrate a dramatic change in life style" (McGlothlin & Tabbush, 1974, pp. 89-90).
  • "It is useful to point out the logical fallacies resulting from society's ambivalence in dealing with...[addiction]. It is perhaps best reflected in the Supreme Court's decision to invalidate the crime of being an addict, but continue the felony penalty for possessing the necessary material for addiction (Robinson decision)" (McGlothlin & Tabbush, 1974, p. 117).

Meiselas, H. & Brill, L. (1974). The role of civil commitment in multimodality programming. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 171-182). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "It is increasingly recognized today that criteria other than abstinence--such as improvement in interpersonal relationships, changes in self-image, employment, better use of leisure time, reduction in drug use and criminality, and general movement towards conventional behavior must be applied to assess treatment success" (Meiselas & Brill, 1974, p. 173).
  • "What must be stressed...is that there are all kinds of drug abusers, involved in varying degrees with drugs. Some may be 'deviant' only in the area of involvement with drugs and conventional in all other respects; while others are totally submerged in all aspects of living as subsumed under the term 'street addict'" (Meiselas & Brill, 1974, p.175).
  • "The question of civil rights and liberties has figured prominently in discussions about civil commitment as a device for compelling treatment. Psychiatrists and doctors such as Szasz (1963, 1970) and Well (1970) and sociologists like Schur (1965) hold that society has no right to define and control private behavior and see drug use as a personal affair. The natural corollary of this position is that treatment may not be indicated at all; or, if it is, it must be voluntary and not imposed since it then becomes punitive and valueless" (Meiselas & Brill, 1974, p. 179).

Greenberg, S. M. (1974). Compounding a felony: Drug abuse and the American legal system. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 183-202). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Imagine, if you will, that the drug abuse crisis in our country was the result of a conspiracy. A conspiracy so vast in its scope as to boggle the mind of a James Bond. The purpose of this conspiracy would be, of course, to so confound and confuse the United States of America that she consistently and mindlessly would pursue a course of absolute idiocy. That she would steadfastly perform acts that were antagonistic to her best interests--that would alienate her people, destroy her health, ruin her morale. Imagine the minds of her legislators befuddled, the souls of her judges and policemen hardened and twisted in hatred, the intellects of her educators confused, and her citizenry reduced to the level of a frenzied mob. Conjure up the picture of evil alien rules rubbing together their hands in glee over the sight of the most powerful nation in the world destroying itself from within, like a scorpion dispatching itself with its own stinger.

And then ask yourself--if the truth is not too painful--whether any evil aliens or sinister plots could have succeeded in impairing our national welfare as totally as we have done through our frenzied efforts to react to a phenomenon that we never really attempted to understand. Try and recall the period in our history when people first began to realize that drugs were going to be a white middle-class problem in the United States, and consequently decided to do something about it. Look back on all the legislation, all the drug education programs, all the legal and illegal police activities, and yes, even all the National Football League public service announcements on drug abuse. Are we any closer now to what we wanted to accomplish back in 1964 in terms of keeping drug abuse within 'acceptable' limits? If we could be magically transported back to those fateful years of the 1960s and be given a chance to do the whole thing over again, and then if we deliberately attempted to create the drug problem, could we, even with the benefit of hindsight, be more successful at throwing our country into crisis?

It is time to face the fact that after several frantic, heartbreaking years of reaction and overreaction to drug usage, we have accomplished virtually nothing--nothing except the exposure of our legal system as an inept, sometimes oppressive and corrupt instrument for the enforcement of public and private morality. We have not curbed drug abuse...we haven't even slowed it. What we have done is to further alienate an entire generation of our children, already alienated by the reality they perceive around them.

...Had the Vietnam war ended in 1965 or 1966, would the 'passive' 1950s have erupted into the massive disruptions and violence of the 1960s? If the nation had reacted to the shame of watching an overtly racist social system enforce its values by utilizing firehoses, clubs, guns, bayonets, and vicious dogs to subdue non-violent school children, and committed itself on a long-term basis to establishing real equality for blacks, would our children have turned away from their television sets in fear and disgust and taken to the streets? An finally, if we had reacted with acceptance, or even paternalistic amusement to long hair, bare feet, unorthodox dress, and the conception of a new type of brotherhood for our country, instead of with disgust, envy, hatred, fear and violence--if we had taken the flower that was offered instead of slapping the bearers' hands away--could we not have kept our children, instead of driving them away?" (Greenberg, 1974, pp. 183-184).

  • "Americans are a peculiar people. More than any other country in modern times they have avowed their dedication to the highest principles of freedom. They have written and enforced a constitution emulated the world over for its protection of the major freedoms of the common man from the government which he has set above him. On the other hand, Americans have tolerated almost without qualms, restrictions on their rights of personal privacy..." (Greenberg, 1974, p. 189).
  • "Virtually all laws which attempt to influence private morality suffer from the same defect--[they]...are generally passed to protect everyone else but the people who write them. Just as prohibition was initiated largely by non-drinkers, laws against the use of drugs were passed by those who hadn't the least idea of what drug usage was like" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 189).
  • "Many of the persons responsible for setting the moral and legal tone for our nation do not want to know the truth! The truth is irrelevant to their reality. What is relevant to their reality is that, for political considerations, they do not want to be on record as being a political leader who presided over the legalization of drug usage--not in this era of the ascendancy of the silent majority. And if we have to throw a few thousand of our children into jail to preserve the purity of our politicians' voting records...so be it." (Greenberg, 1974, pp. 189-190).
  • "It is clear...that the majority of the drug abuse efforts in the middle and late 1960s was politically inspired. By this I mean that the rationale behind the legislation was not the control of drug abuse, but the deliberate harassment and suppression of an emerging minority group felt to be politically dangerous and morally disruptive. No other rationale can explain the severity of the sentences mandated for crimes which were basically passive in nature and consensual on the part of the 'victims'. Nothing else can explain the failure on the part of lawmakers to distinguish between users and pushers, between addicts and those who could control their usage. An finally, no theory other than political suppression can account for the concentration of emphasis on the small-time user and pusher and the massive disinterest in pursuing the major illegal suppliers of narcotics and other dangerous substances" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 190).
  • "Tragically, legislators actually believe, in many instances, that stiffer penalties deter the commission of crimes [as noted in] the study made by the California State Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure, 'Crime and Penalties in California', which found no evidence that severe penalties effectively deter crime" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 191).
  • "Ironically, many observers have come to the conclusion that the vigorous enforcement of laws relating to drug abuse have actually led to an increase in drug-related crimes. This is because an increase in the harassment of pushers drives the price of drugs up. Consequently, the addict, who must steal from five to ten dollars of merchandise for every one dollar of drugs he needs, is forced to turn a greater number of tricks in order to acquire an ample supply" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 191).
  • "The rules of the game in relation to the passing of legislation relating to the imposition of penalties for drug abuse...have been relatively simple...and simplistic: First, act quickly, before there is time to study the situation. Second, don't let scientific evidence corrupt your point of view...rely on your gut reaction and the inflamed passions of your constituency. Third, don't hesitate to sacrifice someone else's child for the cause (you can always use your influence to get your own child off). And finally, start from the bottom--you offend less important people by doing so" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 191).
  • "There is a great disparity of opinion as to whether a narc should be classified as a law officer or as a criminal....Perhaps the most charitable thing I can say about narcotics agents is that they are a necessary part of a failing system. They are a reflection of the depths to which we will sink in our efforts to control men's lives and morals" (Greenberg, 1974, pp. 194-195).
  • "Society and the policeman share an almost classic sado-masochistic relationship. Often, however, it is difficult to determine which party is the sadist, and which the masochist" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 198).
  • "A significant minority of police officers consistently, deliberately, and ruthlessly violate the rights of the citizens with which they deal, and violate the Constitution and laws they are sworn to uphold. Police, acting in the line of duty, may be responsible for more violations of the law per capita than any other group. Probably in no other area is the police officer as abusive of his authority as in the area of drug arrests. Because of the nature of society's response to the drug abuse crisis, the controls that would ordinarily be placed upon the policeman has been removed or ignored by his superiors and by the general public" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 198).

THE DRUGS CRIME CONNECTION: Volume 5. Sage Annual Reviews of Drug and Alcohol Abuse - James A. Inciardi, Editor. 1981.

Inciardi, J. A. (1981). Drug use and criminal behavior: Major research issues. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp. 7-16). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • A study by Drs. Ball, Rosen, Flueck, and Nurco revealed that "there was a six-fold increase in...[opiate addicts'] frequency of crime when addicted" (Inciardi, 1981, p. 11).

Clayton, R. R. (1981). Federal drugs-crime research: Setting the agenda. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.17-38). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • The "heroin epidemic was particularly bothersome to the Nixon administration for at least two reasons: (1) there was concern that an increasing level of heroin use at home was linked directly to Vietnam, and (2) an increasing number of heroin addicts, with their presumed reliance on crime to support their habits, was antithetical to the administration's stated goal of reducing crime in the streets" (Clayton, 1981, p.20).
  • "In an election year it was wise from a political standpoint to be fighting heroin addicts and their criminality while implementing a rehabilitative treatment system to help those who might have become addicted in Vietnam" (Clayton, 1981, p. 20).
  • "American drug control policy is based on the assumptions that a two-pronged simultaneous attack on drug abuse via supply-reduction and demand-reduction strategies will affect drug use, crime, and the drug-crime connection. The policy makers at NIDA [National Institute on Drug Abuse] were upset that the efficacy of this policy was not affirmed in the Report. Therefore, they, the policy makers, decided not to publish the PANEL Report as a NIDA document (Clayton, 1981, p. 23).
  • Weissman explained why "...NIDA chose not to publish the PANEL Report...[because] it questioned the basic assumptions on which American drug-control policies are based. The policies to which he refers are those of supply reduction and demand reduction that are articulated in the Federal Strategy Report" (Clayton, 1981, p.24).

Ball, J. C., Rosen, L, Flueck, J. A., & Nurco, D. N. (1981). The criminality of heroin addicts: When addicted and when off opiates. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.39-66). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Most of the early investigators found little criminality before the onset of opiate addiction (Kolb, 1925; Terry and Pellens, 1928; Pescor, 1943). Later studies, however, have shown a high probability of criminality preceding heroin addiction (Robins and Murphy, 1967; Jacoby et al., 1973; Chamber, 1974). Thus, Jacoby reports that 71 percent of heroin users in Philadelphia had a delinquency record prior to onset of their opiate use, compared to 35 percent of all boys in the same citywide age cohort who also had such records" (Ball, Rosen, Flueck, Nurco, 1981, p. 40). OF COURSE, THE VERY ACT OF POSSESSING IS ILLEGAL. IS THIS CONSIDERED WHEN FIGURING THE LABEL OF DELINQUENCY? WE CREATED THE BLACK MARKET IN DRUGS WHICH PUTS THOSE WHO WERE ADDICTED MEDICALLY INTO THE POSITION OF HAVING TO DEAL WITH 'CRIMINALS', AND THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED SOME DEVIANT ACT ARE MORE LIKELY TO MEET UP WITH THOSE INVOLVED IN DRUGS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE DRUG-CRIMINALITY CONNECTION. WE HAVE CREATED MOST OF OUR OWN PROBLEMS RE: DRUGS, AND THE ONES WE DID NOT CREATE, WE COMPLICATED.

Goldstein, P. J. (1981). Getting over: Economic alternatives to predatory crime among street drug users. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.67-84). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "For street opiate users, economic goal attainment focuses on meeting the demands of daily existence rather than on any long-term career development. Survival presents a daily challenge that is dealt with in whatever fashion appears most appropriate under variable and often difficult circumstances" (Goldstein, 1981, p. 67)
  • "The economic successes achieved by street opiate users tend to be discrete and transitory. Subjects in this study perceived and recounted these successes using the processual term, getting over....The notion of 'getting over' is similar to that of 'getting by'. Both phrases are most often used to describe an economic state of affairs. However, while 'getting by' implies a static state, a mere holding of one's own, 'getting over' implies a dynamic process in which some sort of success is achieved. For example, an addict who sells a less experienced user a $5 bag of heroin for $10 say, 'I got over on him'....Getting over usually involves a degree of scheming or conning" (Goldstein, 1981, p. 68).
  • "Vinny once rented his works [hypodermic needle] to seventeen people in a single day" (Goldstein, 1981, p. 74).

Datesman, S. K. (1981). Women, crime, and drugs. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs/crime connection (pp. 85-104). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "Beginning with the Harrison Act in 1914, however, a series of events occurred that linked addiction with crime. As the addict population became typified by lower-class black males, moral hostility increased and 'the image of the addict changed from a sick to a contemptible deviant' (Conrad and Schneider, 1980:128). Addiction had become a social problem" (Datesman, 1981, p. 85).

McBride, D. C. (1981). Drugs and violence. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.105-124). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • The film Reefer Madness shows a marijuana smoker "turning into a werewolf-like creature after inhaling marijuana smoke" (McBride, 1981, p. 106).
  • "Whenever a drug user engages in violence, the media are apt to describe the incident in such a manner as to imply the continued existence and danger of drug fiends" (McBride, 1981, p. 106).
  • In the early 1900s, "the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was very active in describing the drug addict as behaving in a bizarre, unpredictable, often violent manner. The pre-World War II popular media influenced by the Bureau of Narcotics portrayed drug users quite literally as monsters and fiends" (McBride, 1981, p. 105).
  • "It is suggested that any attempt to understand the relationship between drugs and crime must include a focus on the daily life and interaction of the user--particularly within the context of the drug deal--not just on the activities undertaken to obtain the money for drugs" (McBride, 1981, p. 120).

Goldman, F. (1981). Drug abuse, crime, and economics: The dismal limits of social choice. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.155-181). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • "The grams and purity are locked up in the bag and remain as much a mystery to the user as they do to the researchers" (Goldman, 1981, p. 165).

THE DETROIT NEWS - Sowell, T., 1989, October 2.

Sowell, T. (1989, October 2). Bush's war on drugs another Vietnam? The Detroit News.

  • Thomas Sowell (1989, October 2) stated "...there is nothing so bad that politics cannot make it worse. Drug gang violence is not due to the chemical nature of drugs but to the illegality of drugs, which is what makes them costly and profitable. Ending Prohibition did not stop alcoholics from destroying their lives, but it did put...bootleggers out of business."
  • "Hard core cocaine addicts are increasing but they are still less than one-half of one percent of the American population. Are the other 99 percent of the people to see their country and its institutions and civil liberties jeopardized to try to keep one small group from destroying itself?" (Sowell, 1989, October 2).
  • "Like Vietnam, the war on drugs has been escalated with a contrived incident--the purchase of cocaine n Lafayette Park, across the street form (sic) the White House. Now it has come out that Lafayette Park is not a center for drug dealing after all, but that a drug dealer elsewhere was lured there for this transaction just so the president could go public with the cocaine purchased across the street" (Sowell, 1989, October 2).


Kappeler, V. E., Blumberg, M., & Potter, G. W. (1993). The mythology of crime and criminal justice. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press, Inc.


LaGrange, R. L. (1993). Policing American Society. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Inc.

  • History and Highlights: Kefauver Commission--connection between organized crime and police payoffs in "many U. S. cities....[including] Miami, Detroit, and New Orleans" (LaGrange, 1993, p. 217).


Bentham, J. (1990). Principles of legislation. In W. Laqueur & B. Rubin (Eds.) The Human Rights Reader (Rev. ed., pp. 85-86). New York: Meridian, Penguin Books USA Inc.

  • In Principles of Legislation (1802), by Jeremy Bentham (1990, p. 85), he deals with the law and his interpretation of political good and evil on the following basis:

It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them. There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offense and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy.

Eg: The operation was a success but the patient died.

  • General Rule: Leave to individuals the greatest possible latitude in every case where they can only injure themselves, for they are the best judges of their own interests. If they deceive themselves, the moment they perceive their error, it is to be presumed they will not persist. Do not suffer the power of the law to interfere, unless to prevent their injuring each other (emphasis mine). It is there that law is necessary; it is there that the application of punishment is truly useful, since the rigor shown toward one may ensure the safety of all..." (Bentham, 1990, p.86).

Kenworthy, T. (1988, September 19). House's tough antidrug bill called war on bill of rights: Measure would transform the legal system. Washington Post, pp. A1+.

  • Tom Kenworthy wrote in the Washington Post (1988, September, pp. A1+), "During a meeting of House Democratic floor leaders, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested to one of his colleagues that before the final vote at week's end on the $2 billion omnibus drug bill, the House ought to vote to suspend the Constitution."

Musial, R. (1989, September 20). First traffic check lanes set up. The Detroit Free Press, pp. 3A, 19A).

  • Classic hegemony--Check lanes were set up for drug control. No drugs were found, but 44 traffic tickets were issued. One of those issued a ticket said, "I got a ticket because I left my license at home, but I think it's great if they're doing it to fight drugs" (Musial, 1989, September 20, pp. 3A, 19A).

Brain's addiction mechanism found. (1994, September 13). USA Today, p. 7D).

  • The nucleus accumbiens is the part of the brain that is responsible for the pleasurable effects of a drug and the effects addicts feel when they try to quit the drug. "Blocking brain chemical receptors in addicted animals triggers symptoms that mimic those of withdrawal" (USA Today, p. 7D).

Wisotsky, S. (1990). Beyond the war on drugs: Overcoming a failed public policy. Buffalo: Prometheus Books.

  • "If our society ever becomes interested in actually managing 'the drug problem' instead of throwing an ideological temper tantrum, it will concentrate its efforts on the long-term process of designating community-based regulatory mechanisms, in the public and private sectors, to influence and moderate drug-taking behavior. It will fund research into these alternatives" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 213).
  • "The Reagan Administration sliced the prevention and treatment budget in half in order to funnel the money into law enforcement" (Wisotsky, 1990, p.214). This is exactly the opposite of what should have been done.
  • As Wisotsky states (1990, p. 214), The War on Drugs is so wrong, so ineffective, and so destructive that almost any alternative should be preferred by thinking people. It would be hard to do worse than the status quo."
  • "Experience in Oregon, California, and Maine following decriminalization of marijuana in the 1970's showed no significant percentage of new users or an increase in frequency of use" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 215).
  • "The premises of the War on Drugs, in addition to being objectionable in principle, fail to offer any practical solution to the problem of drug abuse, which grows worse every year. The War on Drugs has no creative or constructive power whatever" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 216).
  • Wisotsky (1990, p. 216), concludes that "the War on Drugs is beginning to collapse of its own weight." This would be wonderful if true; and if so, it better hurry.
  • "As the hegemonic, senior generation over age 45 or 50 dies off, it will be replaced by one for whom the War on Drugs makes no cultural sense, quite apart from its operational failures and black market pathologies" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 218). AND WITH ALL THE SOCIAL PROBLEMS WE HAVE WAITING TO BE SOLVED, IT'S TOO BAD MONEY FROM TAXABLE, REGULATED DRUGS IS NOT BEING MADE AVAILABLE. IN FACT, ALL THE MONEY BEING PUMPED INTO LAW ENFORCEMENT IS TAKING AWAY FROM AND CAUSING MORE SOCIAL PROBLEMS.
  • "Many studies report that the more (accurate) information a person has about drugs, the less likely he is to regard them as dangerous" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 219).
  • "The adoption of cocaine by the middle classes was evidently considered hot copy by the media, which reported on it incessantly and often sensationally" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 11).
  • "Viewing the entire cocaine industry as one corporation, it would rank seventh in sales among the Fortune 500" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 17).
  • "Another way of describing the rationalistic bias of this [objective] research method is to see it as anti-holistic, i.e., a captive of the Cartesian division between mind and body, analyzing the sum of the parts to learn about the whole without considering the interaction of the parts and possible synergistic effects. The bias against 'experiential' models of drug effects reflects a conceptual reductionism of human beings to mere components or parts (body or mind) reacting like machines to drug stimuli in standardized fashion" (Wisotsky, 1990, pp.19-20).
  • "The law thus neatly serves as prescription both for ignorance and for maintenance of the status quo" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 20).

Szasz, T. (1990). Foreword. In S. Wisotsky Beyond the war on drugs: Overcoming a failed public policy. Buffalo: Prometheus Books.

  • "Perhaps because of our diversity as a people, it is difficult for us to find a stable basis for 'congregating' as a nation, a circumstance that amplifies our collective craving for moral crusades against scapegoats bearing heavy loads of imaginary dangers" (Szasz, 1990, Foreword xvi).
  • "The sacrificial principle of victimage (the 'scapegoat') ...explains why it is such a sad truism that....'it is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil.' In my opinion, this is not just probable, it is quite certain" (Szasz, 1990, Foreword xvi).

Adler, P. A. (1993). Wheeling and dealing: An ethnography of an upper-level drug dealing and smuggling community. (2nd ed.) New York: Columbia University Press.

  • "Quite frankly, it would have been impossible for a nonuser to have gained access to this group to gather the data presented here" (Adler, 1993, p. 24).
  • Many factors are involved in the pricing of illegal drugs: cost of the drug from the source; prevailing market price; location (logically, border towns provide a less expensive product since drugs are more plentiful there); risk of arrest associated with the number of borders crossed; how long the drugs have to be held before sale; distance of travel before sale; mode of transportation "(especially if they have to transfer the drugs from one mode of transportation and/or storage to another)"; credit considerations; quality (however, the quality of cocaine was "fairly consistent [so] they thus let the dealers to whom they sold worry about testing and cutting the product"; and situational conditions including "need of money" or personal relationships (Adler, 1993, pp. 45-48).
  • "There were two basic forms of drug dealing: straight dealing and middling. Straight dealing involved purchasing drugs in one quantity and dividing them into smaller units to sell....[One type of midling involved selling the] drugs they purchased intact, without separating them into smaller units....The second type of midling was customer initiated. Dealers were often approached by people looking to buy a specific amount of drugs....[The dealer then] matched a source of supply with a cash purchaser,...boosted the price[,] and made money on the transfer" Adler, 1993, pp. 49-53).
  • "In contrast to straight dealing, dealers who middled rarely adulterated the drug....'cause God forbid you have to give it back....A small quantity, however, was often removed for the middler's own personal consumption" (Adler, 1993, p. 53).
  • "It's not really dealing--[midling] it's just putting together two connections, but the trick is to keep them apart so they don't know who each other are and they need you to complete the link" (Adler, 1993, p. 54).
  • "Money meant nothing to me. Like, if some guy gave me a $100 bill I'd go out and burn it or cut it in half for all I cared" (Adler, 1993, p.86). MONEY MEANT NOTHING TO ME EITHER EXCEPT THAT I HAD TO HAVE IT TO GET MY DRUGS. I ONLY THOUGHT OF MONEY IN TERMS OF HOW MANY DILAUDIDS I COULD PURCHASE--OTHER THAN THAT, I DIDN'T CARE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.
  • Describing the lows of freebasing, a user states, "Lows? It's like when you can't get up to go to the bathroom and your mind goes by itself. When you're up pacing the floor--your mind, but your body's not. When you're so wired and exhausted and you just want to sleep but you can't . You lie there staring at the ceiling for about 14 hours straight. You're so fucked up you're embarrassed to go out of the house. Falling asleep in public bars" (Adler, 1993, pp. 88-89). UNLIKE OPIATE ADDICTION, THERE IS DEBATE AS TO WHETHER COCAINE IS PHYSICALLY ADDICTING. THE LOWS FROM OPIATE ADDICTION INCLUDE DEFINITE PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES WHICH INCLUDE...
  • Some "children of the dealing crowd eventually...graduated to become 'tinydealers.' Moving into junior high and high school, 13- and 14-year-old dealers were capable of making large sums of money by selling ounces of marijuana and grams or half-grams of cocaine to their peers" (Adler, 1993, p. 93).
  • "To make it in the drug world, dealers and smugglers had to generate trust and likability. The most important character trait in this regard was integrity. According to others, quality dealers were honest and fair in their business transactions, gave exact "counts" (full weight values), and made fairly accurate estimations of the quality of their product." (Adler, 1993, p. 100).

Scullum, J. (1991). Secondary Smoke is not harmful to nonsmokers. In D. L. Bender & B. Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 72-78). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.

  • "As James M. Buchanan has noted, using the state's power to control your neighbor's annoying habits is a risky business. 'Let those who would use the political process to impose their preferences on the behavior of others be wary of the threat to their own liberties,' he writes. 'The liberties of some cannot readily be restricted without limiting the liberties of all" (Scullum, 1991, p. 78).

D'Amato, B. (1992). The doctor, the murder, the mystery: The true story of the Dr. John Branion murder case. Chicago: The Noble Press, Inc.

  • "In the 1930s, if a person accused of a crime could not afford to hire an attorney, he went to trial with no defense except his own efforts. It was not until 1942 that the Supreme Court forced the states to appoint an attorney for an accused person, and then it was only for capital offenses. Twenty-one years later, in the famous case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court required the state to appoint an attorney to defend any indigent person accused of a felony" (D'Amato, 1992, p. 49).
  • "By spring of 1968, "resistance to the Vietnam War was so intense, so broad, and so angry that it had driven President Lyndon Johnson to announce that he would not run for reelection" (D'Amato, 1992, p. 91).
  • On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assasinated (D'Amato, 1992, p. 92).
  • "In Chicago [Martin Luther King, Jr.] recruited young men who were members of street gangs and converted their anger into energy for change. One of his early strategies was to appoint them marshals of the marches. It was their job to keep the peace. When glass bottles and bricks and rocks rained down from the rooftops at the marchers, the gang-members-turned-marshals caught them as a ballplayer would catch a pop fly, and then laid them gently on the ground" (D'Amato, p. 73).

Bender, D. L. (1991). Why consider opposing viewpoints? In D. L. Bender & B. Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 9-11). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.

  • "It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it - Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)" (Bender, 1991, p. 9).

Nakken, C. (1991). An addictive personality may cause chemical dependency. In D. L. Bender & B. Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 30-37). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.

  • "We are starting to see how the gradual loss of the Self occurs in addiction, and how the addictive personality slowly gains more and more control. The decrease in the Self causes an increase in the addictive personality.

In addition, there is an almost constant internal conflict between the Self and the Addict. In this struggle, the Addict wins. This is what is meant by "loss of control." The longer the struggle, the more control the addictive personality gains and establishes. Each time the Self struggles against the addiction, the Addict becomes stronger. To fight and struggle against something that has more power than you drains your energy. For each defeat there is some loss of self-esteem...

...In addiction, the Addict becomes the dominant personality.

People and family members often desperately ask themselves and others, 'Why does he act like this? Doesn't he care about us anymore?' The truth is that the Addict within doesn't care about them. What it cares about is acting out, getting the mood change. The Addict doesn't care about the Self either. A statement such as, 'At least if you won't stop for me, stop for yourself!' falls on deaf ears. The person who suffers from an addiction often asks the same question long before anyone else: 'Why do I act this way? Don't I care?'

It's often a great relief for people suffering from an addiction to realize that they are not 'bad people', as they believed, that their addictive personality is not all of them, but only a part of them, having grown as a result of the illness" (Nakken, 1991, pp. 36-37).

Peele, S. (1991). Personal choice causes cocaine addiction. In D. L. Bender & B. Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 38-44). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.

  • "Cocaine came to be addictive among some inner-city users and among a very small percentage of middle-class users who tried the drug.

Why didn't most of these people become cocaine addicts? The answer is so simple that we are left wondering why scientists can't figure it out: Most people have better things to do than to become addicted to cocaine" (Peele, 1991, p. 42).

  • "A study of middle-class users of cocaine by the Addiction Research Foundation of Toronto found not only that most regular users do not become addicted, but also that most of those who develop a steady craving for cocaine eventually cut back or quit the drug on their own" (Peele, 1991, p. 42).
  • "...we have reached a strange impasse in our civilization when we rely for information and moral guidance about habits on the most debilitated segments of our population--groups who attribute to addiction and drugs what are actually their personal problems. What, really, are we to learn from people who stand up and testify that they couldn't control their shopping spress, that they spent all their money and went bankrupt to get material possessions we were smart enough to resist, and that they now want us to forgive them and their debts?" Who should we listen to regarding addiction--the moralists or the addict? (Peele, 1991, pp. 42, 43).

Oakley, R., Ph. D., & Ksir, C., Ph. D. (1987). Drugs, Society and Human Behavior. St. Louis, Missouri: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing.

  • Toward the middle of the century, Harry Anslinger, the first Commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics arranged for Senator McCarthy to have his narcotics supplied to him by a Washington pharmacy without the interference of narcotic officers (Oakley & Ksir, 1987, p. 42). However, he was opposed to any treatment which supplied narcotics to addicts on the street and rigorously enforced laws against them.
  • In the 1800's, drug use was thought of as "laissez-faire". If a person wanted to use a substance and another wanted to sell it, what difference did it make? (Oakley, & Ksir, 1987, p. 22).

Cantor, G. (1989, October 2). Smoking crack differs from drinking a beer. The Detroit News, p. B3.

  • When one sees an article such as the one George Cantor (1989, October 2, p. 3B) wrote, one has to wonder who made him judge, jury, and moral superior. He states that most of those who drink are not doing it for the purpose of getting drunk, but those who take drugs are essentially moral degenerates because they take drugs to get high. He states, "I know of no one who would argue that illegal drugs are harmless at any level of use".

Monson, M. C. (1980, November). The dirty little secret behind our drug laws. Reason. Reprinted in Drugs, Volume 3. (Boca Raton, Fla: Social Issues Resources Series, Inc., 1980), Article No. 19.

  • However, in actuality "...taking of narcotics results in no measurable organic damage", (Monson, 1980, p. 51).
  • "The first two laws prohibiting opium smoking were passed in...1875 and 1876 in response to discrimination of the Chinese" (Monson, 1980, p. 48) who were thought of as an inferior race. In 1910, legislation was requested regarding cocaine since it was "...authoritatively stated that cocaine is often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the Negroes of the South and other sections of the country" (Monson, 1980, p. 48).
  • In the 1920's, heroin was linked to "promiscuous urban gangs [and] alcohol was associated with immigrants..." (Monson, 1980, p. 48) who were not to be trusted.
  • "One hundred years ago the concept that the State could tell Americans what they could and could not ingest would have been ridiculed" (Monson, 1980, p. 51).

Hyde, M. O. (1990). Drug wars. New York: Walker and Company.

  • Dr. Sydney Cohen, whose voice has been considered the most rational in an irrational world of drugs, writes in Cocaine: The Bottom Line that scare tactics are counterproductive and should be avoided..." (Hyde, 1990, p. 19).
  • "Officials in drug-producing and -processing countries are quick to point out that the tremendous demand for drugs in the United States drives the drug business" (Hyde, 1990, pp. 90-91).
  • "Many of the dealers are shot, some by the police when they resist orders, some by drug dealers who are trying to protect their turf or intimidate competitors" (Hyde, 1990, p. 26).
  • "Valerie...lives in a neighborhood where abandoned buildings house crack dealers, where vacant lots have become dumping grounds for trash, and where gun battles are common. When shooting is heard, she hides under her bed. More than a hundred people were killed in her neighborhood last year and most of the deaths were drug related. ....Valerie wishes the police would arrest the dealers on the corner, but if they do, other dealers will take their places" (Hyde, 1990, p. 26).
  • "Some experts in the field of drug abuse note that the first laws aimed at controlling opiate use in the United States were aimed at controlling a racial minority that the public feared....Many news reporters blamed the 'yellow devils,' the relatively small group of Chinese laborers, for the spreading addiction problem in America and especially for corrupting American youth. Emotionalism was rampant, and moral reform movements were common. Alcohol, opium, and other drugs were the targets of crusades that fought against the use of drugs that affect the mind" (Hyde, 1990, p. 33).
  • "At first, heroin was considered benign and was used as a substitute for liquor. It was backed by the Bayer Company for a short time, before it was recognized as producing the same kind of addiction as morphine" (Hyde, 1990, p. 33).
  • "Until more is learned, many doctors are willing to accept methadone as the best treatment in the war against heroin" (Hyde, 1990, p. 40).

Berger, G. (1989). Violence and drugs. New York: Franklin Watts.

  • "In rapidly growing numbers, unskilled, poorly educated people in inner-city areas are finding drug dealing the most lucrative career option available to them. Many children enticed into the drug culture at an early age drop out of school and by their mid-teens enter the violent world of drug dealing and distribution" (Berger, 1989, p. 34).
  • "Being a lookout is the entry-level position for nine- and ten-year-olds in the drug trade. It is the job of a lookout to warn dealers when police are in the area. For this, they can make ;up to $100 a day and be rewarded with a pair of fashionable sneakers, a bomber jacket, or a bicycle" (Berger, 1989, p. 35).
  • "Being a runner is the next step up the ladder for ambitious young teenagers who want to succeed in the drug trade. The job can pay up to $300 a day. The runner transports the drugs to the dealers on the street. In the case of crack, the youngster takes the drug from the makeshift factories, where cocaine powder is cooked into rock-hard crack, to the dealers" (Berger, 1989, p. 36).
  • "Youngsters in the drug culture are often completely on their own. Family members may be living apart or may be dead....Seventy-two percent of the boys and girls in a correctional institute study said they had grown up without one or both parents" (Berger, 1989, p. 37).
  • "As a source of income, dealing is especially attractive to low-income, disadvantaged youth. With few other possibilities for employment and troubling family situations, many embark on a career of drug dealing" (Berger, 1989, p. 45).

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