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Articles - Various general
Written by Pat O'Malley   
Saturday, 17 December 1994 00:00

The Demand for Intoxicating Commodities:
Implications for the "War on Drugs"
by Pat O'Malley and Stephen Mugford

PAT O'Malley is the director of the National Center for Socio-Legal Studies. La Trobe University, Bundorra Victoria, Australia 3083.
STEPHEN MUGFORD Is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. Faculty of Arts. Australian National University, Oho Box 4, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.


THE BEST THAT CAN BE SAID ABOUT THE WAR ON DRUGS (FROM THE POINT OF view of those who run and support it) is that while it will fail, its failure may not be evident. For quite unrelated reasons, demand within the United States for some drugs, especially cocaine and cocaine derivatives, seems to be declining (Bachman et al., 1988, 1990). Since that de cline coincides with rhetoric about the Drug War, apologists for that war will claim credit for the change, suggesting to us that the war Is being won. In this article, we aim to show why such claims are absurd and concentrate Instead upon the most neglected aspect of illicit psychotropic drug use - the demand for drugs.

Our case does not rest on (lee practical objections frequently raised to the War on Drugs, such as the impossibility of preventing smuggling; file profits to be made and the corruption they sustain; or the self-defeating tendency to raise prices, thus attracting new illicit investment. This is politically important, for lice implicit suggestion that otherwise the War on Drugs might work sounds a challenge to American know-how and determination. We show that, even without these practical hindrances, the War on Drugs would still fail because it is based upon a series of incorrect assumptions about demand. This misunderstanding leads drug warriors - and also many traditional political opponents - into policy stances that are doomed by their incapacity to comprehend the phenomena they seek to control. To make our case we first outline some key points about illicit drug use and the War on Drugs and then develop our analysis of demand and its implications.

Four Discourses about Drugs

Four discourses can be found in the research and theoretical literature dealing with drug use (Mugford and O'Malley, 1991). These we call, for convenience, the discourses of pathology, profit, the state, and pleasure 1 The type of questions they pose can be outlined briefly as follows:

Pathology: This, the dominant discourse, focuses on what is wrong with people (or with the situation in which they find themselves) that leads them to use Illicit drugs. As Glassner and Loughlin (1987: 258) put it, "mainstream drug research begins by looking for and therefore seeing individuals whose psychological or social deficiencies explain their use of drugs." Millions of dollars have been expended in the attempt to document the lack of self-esteem, the type of psychic pain, the poor family background, or the low level of coping skills that lead individuals (especially young ones) to experiment with, and eventually to become dependent upon, drugs. (For a recent exposition of such a position, see Miller and Gold (1990). For an overview and critique, see Glassner and Loughlin (1987: 235-2741). The more sociological version of this question, popular on the political Left, emphasizes impoverishment of context and implies that such use is the result of alienation and exploitation (Dour and South, 1987). In all variants, Left and Right, these accounts posit some deficit, with the implication that were individuals socially and/or personally healthy or normal, they would not use drugs. Policy implications center upon correcting the deficit and returning the individual or social order to the optimum state of health or normality, whereupon, it is assumed, drug use will disappear. For this discourse then, demand is simply an effect of some distortion in social or psychological conditions, an aberration rather than a normal feature of a culture.

Profit: Located more in political economy and less in psychology than is the pathology discourse, the profit discourse dwells on the pecuniary motives of drug traffickers. It emphasizes (quite rightly) the social and political conditions in producer countries that lead to continued production - the enormous international trade imbalances, the great internal inequities and the poverty of most peasants, the role of a comprador class, the weakness of the state, and the extent of corruption. It deals with the enormous profits to be made from trafficking, the supply of willing labor for wholesale and retail selling, the impracticality of interdicting the trade, the very small impact that even substantial increases in interdiction might have, and also the way that the drug trade corrupts and impedes the criminal justice system. Although no one work encompasses all these themes, many of them are outlined by Henman (1985), Morales (1989), and Wisotsky (1986). This discourse demonstrates why trafficking will continue - but is silent on demand.

By implication, the profit discourse understands demand as a response to supply. As with the pathology model, demand is thus rendered unauthentic. It is seen not as a phenomenon in its own right, but as a reflex of other authentic or real phenomena located elsewhere. The omission of the demand for drugs from this discourse is, therefore, not an oversight but, as with the pathology discourse, a reflection of central assumptions.

The Stare: This discourse centers upon the question of legislation. It presumes, explicitly or implicitly, that drug taking is a normal feature of society and asks why some drugs are legal and accepted while others are illegal and decried. Its answer, similar to that of the profit discourse, but focused more upon politics, is that laws reflect class interest or the interest of powerful pressure groups. Drugs that are legal are so because of historical contingency - they are the source of large-scale legitimate profit from capital investment by '.'reputable" entrepreneurs and are used by majority-group members for more or less acceptable purposes. Other drugs have been used by minority-group members - such as opium by Chinese or cocaine by Blacks - for unacceptable purposes yielding profit to entrepreneurs who lack social status or political power (e.g., Helmer, 1975; Morgan, 1978). Like the previous discourse, this one yields much of value. Nonetheless, demand remains untheorized, In part because it is simply taken for granted by this approach. While it makes no systematic denial of the authenticity of the demand for drugs In the way the two previous discourses tend to do, it relegates it to a matter of secondary importance. Part of this neglect of demand is a logical corollary of concentrating on the arbitrary exercise of the power of the state, which is seen as politically more important. To deal with demand, then, would merely be a distraction.

Pleasure: Most of what has been written about drugs in recent years falls into one of the previous three discourses. The fourth discourse, in the written fragments that are available? centers upon the pleasure to be had from drugs, focusing upon that pleasure as the motive for use. Some writers who have contributed to this perspective (such as Young, 1971) see drug use as socially normal, 3 while others (such as Siegel. 1989) see it as biologically normal. 4 While these are valuable elements, the pleasure discourse remains underdeveloped. This underdevelopment arises from the fact that demand remains largely uninvestigated. Demand is assumed to be either given or self-evident. Yet pleasure is not defined the same way in all societal contexts, nor are all drugs seen as desirable and pleasurable by all people in all cultures at all times. In particular, little attention is paid to the fact that in modern capitalist societies, there has been a steady growth over the last two centuries in markets for pleasurable commodities and that drugs, linked to this general trend, need to be thought of in this way. If we are to understand the demand for drugs as a demand for commodities that provide a particular type of pleasure, however, then it is not good enough for "pleasure" to remain unexamined - lest pleasure becomes a synonym for demand and the argument collapses into tautology. Therefore, we must investigate how pleasures are socially constructed and how drug use may be linked to such constructions (Stallybrass and White, 1986). Only then can we develop a discourse on pleasure that can explain demand. 5 Developing such an analysis and then examining its consequences for policy toward the War on Drugs is the main thrust of this article.

Assumptions of the War on Drugs

The War on Drugs rests upon assumptions about drug use that are derived principally from the pathology and profit discourses. Assumptions of pathological deficit in users or their milieux underlie those elements of the War on Drugs that promote education and treatment for users. Since demand is seen to result from deficit or impairment, policy should seek to redress that deficit. If the deficit is information (i.e., users are ignorant or mistaken), it can be redressed by education. If the deficit is intrapersonal, it can be redressed by treatment.

At the same time, the profit discourse underpins the two main targets in the area of interdiction - namely greedy criminals, who are a cancer in the body politic and foreigners in corrupt and backward countries, who delight in making money from (American) misery. Criminals and foreigners are implicitly contrasted with "ordinary Americans" so that drug problems can be presented as someone else's fault. This position, adopted by the War on Drugs, is predicated upon a series of "down home" values and a set of political considerations that include the electoral appeal of being hard on drugs and the opportunistic attraction for some in the military of replacing the Cold War with the War on Drugs (at least when faced with the threat of peace before the gulf crisis). The vision of America offered in the War on Drugs is of value consensus and coherence. In a divided country, however, this may be the attempt of one set of actors (symbolized by the term "Middle America") to impose moral values on other sectors, especially the urbanites of one sort or another.

It is important in this context to recall that while the U.S. contains the hypermodern edge of capitalist consumer culture in cities like New York, a very substantial proportion of the total American population lives in the vast range of small- to middle-sized towns and cities - a veritable legion of "I "Peorias." Consequently, the U.S. displays a high level of internal cultural contradiction. Writing in a very different context, Fischer neatly encapsulates this:

The size and distinctiveness of a group make behavior unique to it more likely to occur. For example, a small town may have few delinquent youths, but only in a large city will there be sufficient numbers establish a viable delinquent subculture.... The larger the town, the more likely it is to contain, in meaningful numbers and unity, drug addicts, radicals, intellectuals, "swingers," health-food faddists or whatever-, and the more likely they are to influence (as well as offend) the conventional center of society. In must communities, large and small, the influence of "Middle American" culture is pervasive and weighty. It is, however, in the larger communities that counter-influence from unconventional subcultures occurs (Fischer, 1975: 1328-1329, emphasis added).

Rural/urban differences. of course, do not exhaust the ways in which America is internally divided. Wealth, which is massively uneven in its distribution, and race, which still cuts across the country as a legacy of slavery, are also major axes of differentiation and struggle. The U.S. does not display value consensus on moral issues and images of purported consensus often are used to justify actions that attempt to impose conformity. The War on Drugs is an example of this, an example that relies heavily on two discourses (profit and pathology) to buttress its claims.

The arguments advanced in the War on Drugs hinge on supply. If supply can be controlled through crop substitution, interdiction, or whatever, then, it is assumed, the evil will be controlled. In turn, as should be obvious from our critique, demand is not seriously examined. It is seen partly as a reflex of supply and partly as a result of deficit (personal or informational). The extent to which this position can be sustained, however, depends upon the other two discourses. What might they say and should we listen?

The state discourse immediately raises ugly problems for drug warriors. It suggests that the division between legal and illegal drugs is arbitrary, despite intellectual gymnastics designed to construct differences between the legal and illegal drugs based upon their intrinsic chemical and biological properties. These gymnastics are not surprizing in the American context. America is the leading world exporter of tobacco, the drug that kills more people each year than all others, legal and illegal, put together. It is the American government that couples the rhetoric of the War on Drugs with economic pressure on those Third World governments that try to stem the rising tide of tobacco flowing into their countries. America is also a major exporter of both alcoholic beverages and pharmaceuticals, many of which are sold in ways that would not be allowed within the U.S. Thus, the state discourse suggests that the War on Drugs is based upon the economic and political locations of those controlling drug production rather than on the intrinsically harmful properties of the drugs to be targeted. The war is directed against foreign and illegitimately organized rather than domestic and corporate producers of drugs.

The pleasure discourse can take us further, for it shows that drugs epitomize modern culture rather than being the aberration that the War on Drugs suggests. It is to this that we now turn.

Locating Demand

Our starting point is the fact that the use of intoxicants is a normal feature of human life that is found in all known cultures, involves a bewildering array of substances, and, moreover, is not confined to humans, but is also found in many other species. Overall, therefore, it is not surprizing that there is widespread use of drugs, both social and pharmaceutical, licit and illicit in modem Western societies. This, however, does no more than begin an argument. Just as Weber (1958) noted that the ubiquity of greed does not explain capitalism (because a general factor can never be the sole or sufficient cause of a specific outcome), so the ubiquity of drug use says little about the way drug use varies between cultures and over time. Cocaine, for example, is only the concentrated active ingredient of coca leaves, but the use of the former at a modem, middle class, suburban party shares little with the use of coca by South American Indians for whom it facilitates working at high altitudes. The social meanings and politico-legal regulations that are contextually attached to the use of drugs, as well as the differences between contexts, need to be understood in terms of social theories.

We should begin by getting a broad idea of what illicit drug use looks like in a modern Western setting. There seem to be two separable ideal types of use. On the one hand, some people use drugs to escape from a reality that is felt to be unpleasant for external reasons, such as lack of money, job, or social support, and/or for internal reasons, such as psychic pain, low self-esteem, or lack of coping skills. Such use tends toward addiction - that is, use comes to be the core of life, appears to others and is felt by the user to be compulsive, often involves harm to the user, and so on. Moreover, given the market position of some drugs and some styles of use, such drug taking is more likely to involve heroin and amphetamines and to be involved with injection of the drug.

Let us call this "deficit use" - following our earlier point that pathology models concentrate upon deficit. Deficit use frequently is portrayed by many professionals in the drug area - such as treatment-agency specialists, antidrug campaigners, etc. - as being the main kind of use. This claim is (spuriously, we suggest) supported by the fact that this kind of use is visible, probably because deficit users are more likely to suffer harm from use and so appear for treatment or are caught by police.

On the other hand, there is a pattern of use that we will, for the moment, call leisure use. Leisure use centers upon the use of a mixture of legal and illegal drugs for partying and other pleasure-related purposes. Drugs used in this fashion tend to be those with an upmarket appeal (socially, not pharmacologically, defined) like cocaine or MDMA, and swallowing, smoking, or snorting are more frequently employed routes of administration than injection. Such use tends to be episodic and embedded in a wider network of activities that are not dominated by use, but rather limit it. While precise estimates of any illegal activity are difficult, those studies focusing on communities of users, rather than upon incarcerated populations, have drawn two important sets of conclusions. First, there are far more users of any drug than come to public notice, those not officially "known" are different (less pathological) than those known, and those known are likely to include a large number of dabblers and nondependent (i.e., leisure) users (for heroin, see Hartnoll et al., 1985; Parker et al., 1987; and Rounsaville, 1985; for cocaine, see Mugford and Cohen, 1989; Erickson et al., 1987; Cohen, 1989; and Scottish Cocaine Research Group, 1990). Second, noticeable harm from leisure use is uncommon (Smart, 1986, discusses this with respect to cocaine).

These two ideal types of drug use 6 can be further conceptualized, In a complementary fashion, by using Merton's (1957: 139-140) analysis of anomie. Merton Identifies several types of adaption, including retreatism and innovation. In the first, the individual rejects both normatively accepted ends and means; in the second, the individual accepts the normatively prescribed goals, but employs alternate and nonlegitimate means. In these terms, deficit use is retreatist and leisure use is innovatory. Indeed, retreatism as a conceptualization of deficit use is quite widely employed among progressive as well as conservative analyses (e.g., Dorn and South, 1987). Thus, among the unemployed people described by Pearson (1989), users frequently had abandoned the struggle for pecuniary success, substituting for it a nonconventional goal of escape achieved through the nonconventional means of drug use. On the other hand, the recreational users who are the subject of research by authors like Cohen (1989) and Erickson et al. (1987) retained conventional goals such as the pursuit of pleasure during leisure time and sought to achieve this by innovative means.

Because of the dominance of the pathology discourse, however, Illicit drug use is most often viewed as deficit-retreatism, which, as already noted, Is the kind of drug use most visible in treatment-based research. Yet leisureinnovative use is the more common. With cocaine, for example, this is seen in the snorting of the drug by middle-class people to celebrate success, associated with leisure and pleasure, with the substance often purchased through friends and used in private partying situations (see Mugford and Cohen. 1989; Erickson et al., 1987; Cohen, 1989; Scottish Cocaine Research Group, 1990). Although other drugs may show less extreme skewing in their populations of use than cocaine, various studies suggest that even for heroin - the drug most associated with dependence and addiction - nondependent users ("chippers" or "weekend warriors") outnumber "junkies," even if their total consumption is a minority share of the market (Marks, 1990). The question then becomes how to explain this more common kind of use - leisure-innovative - which is essential to the large-scale demand that drives trades like cocaine. Although pathology-based explanations may offer insight into deficit-retreatist use, they do not bite here. That lack of bite is not accidental. The pathology discourse, presuming that use is deviant, concentrates on problematic use and people with problems, which may be useful for the targeted group. For those whose use is embedded in a life context that is otherwise fairly normal, however, it is necessarily silent. Thus, we need a new approach, something that refers not to the unusual nature of the users, but rather to their mundaneness.

As is clear from their accounts (see Mugford and Cohen (19891 for examples), leisure-innovative users articulate their use in terms of pleasure and entertainment. Since this jells with our other knowledge on that use, namely that it Is primarily in a partying and leisure context, it follows that a useful place to start this quest is with an examination of pleasure, excitement, and entertainment in modern culture. Obviously, such matters cannot be understood without reference to their counterpoint - work, duty, and production. To begin with, modern society can be understood to contain a complex and possibly contradictory relationship between the production-centered ethic 7 that constructs the self through discipline, control, work, "clock time," deferred gratification, and calculatioe rationality, and a consumption-centered hedonist ethic that encourages the pursuit of selfhood through self-expression, leisure, consumer goods, and pleasure. The argument is familiar and is spelled out in many different sources (see, e.g., Bell, 1978; Bellah et al., 1985; Berman, 1983; Campbell, 1987; Ewen, 1988; Featherstone, 1983, 1985, Lasch, 1979; McCracken, 1988; Sennett, 1976).

The former ethic is the production-oriented cultural component of a social system founded on a capitalist economy, industrial and post-industrial production systems, urban dwelling, and an international system made up of trade and, at the political level, nation-states. Its stress is upon calculation, economic cost-benefit rationality, purposive labor, and the related values commonly understood as the Protestant Ethic. The consumption ethic is the complementary component of that system. Powerfully constructed and reinforced by the mass media and youth culture (advertising, popular music, etc.) it portrays and applauds a world of pleasure in commodities and commodified pleasures.

It is the argument advanced by Campbell (1987) that leads us to say that these two ethics are only "possibly contradictory," rather than stressing their superficial contradiction. In this sophisticated analysis, Campbell argues that we need to explain the spirit of modern consumerism much as Weber had set out to explain the spirit of modem capitalism - and for much the same reason. That is, consumerism is no more a natural and inevitable outcome of a natural or universal human tendency toward pleasure seeking or emulation than is rational capitalism a natural and inevitable outcome of greed. Rather, he suggests, we need to comprehend a consumerist ethos as the result of the development of a particular belief system - Romanticism - albeit in an historically "ironic" way. Put very simply, his argument is that Romanticism, conceived of as a reaction against bourgeois rationalists and materialism, located an alternate experience and expression in the emotions and imagination. In this construction, emotional and imaginative existence not only transcended the mundane order of capitalist modernity, but in so doing also provided a domain of intense experience unavailable to rational materialism. These experiences were understood as intensely pleasurable, but were not confined to the pleasant, since the extremes of emotion are found as much in fear, grief, or melancholy as they are in bliss. Since Romanticism sought intensity, it looked as much toward negative as positive extremes, thus extending beyond the pleasant.

Thus Romanticism, according to Campbell, constructed a modem hedonism that is peculiar in its inwardness; a hedonism based upon self-exploration and realization through emotional and imaginative being, rather than through the simple sensory gratification associated with traditional hedonism. Ironically - for Romantics deplored pleasure as an end in itself rather than as a means to spiritual or idealistic ends - complex interactions between this new hedonistic ethic and the cultural pressures of utilitarianism and commercialism linked commodity consumption and pleasures In this emergent "consumption ethic," commodities came to be constructed as objects of imaginative symbolization associated with such sources and forms of Romantic pleasure as longing, novelty, the exhilaration that comes from travel to strange and dangerous locations, or states of mind and even with Romantic conceptions of voluntary self-expression (Ibid.: 203-207). Campbell interprets this development, in turn, as generating vital demand characteristics of consumerism - in particular the endless emergence of new "wants," the search for new experiences through commodity consumption, and the idea that commodities symbolize identity and provide meaning. Given the original conceptions involved in its historical formation (which Campbell insists are constantly at work reproducing consumerism), it is understandable not only that commodities and pleasure should be closely linked, but also that one of the principal forms of pleasurable commodity should be that array devoted to experiential novelty, ranging from safe commodities, such as tourism (Urry, 1990), to dangerous forms, such as hang gliding and skydiving (Lyng, 1990). In such a cultural milieux, we argue, illicit and even dangerous drug taking as a leisure activity appears as an intelligible form of the normatively sanctioned search for the extraordinary- rather than as a bizarre product of pathological minds, social malfunctions, corrupt regimes, or rapacious entrepreneurs (Mugford and O'Malley, 1991).

We may also understand such a tendency as arising from commodification itself- the creation of new markets is a continual feature of capitalism. This contributes to a tendency toward what Simmel (1950) called the "blasts attitude" and to "neurasthenia," a condition in which the metropolitan individual becomes desensitized to existing stimuli and needs new and ever more stimulating experiences to produce excitement. On the other hand, we must recognize that the tendency of the Protestant Ethic Is, as Weber argued, toward routlnization, rationalization, and the disenchantment of the world. In its turn, this is understood to give rise to the desire for contrasting experiences in leisure time, the latter becoming the time for excitement, fatalism, and spontaneity. Here we see two tendencies, generated from different sources, with both leading to the same end - the search for the new. Consumerism generates a search for the new as part of its intrinsic logic, while the work ethic generates It as a compensatory escape. Perhaps Bell summarizes the nexus between these tendencies best when he writes:

...the bourgeois attitudes of calculation and methodical restraint came Into conflict with the impulsive searchings for sensation and excitement that one found in Romanticism, and which passed over Into Modernism. The antagonism deepened as the organization of work and production became bureaucratized and individuals were reduced to roles, so that the norms of the workplace were increasingly at variance with the emphasis of self-exploration and selfgratification.

...not only has there been a contradiction between the realms [culture, politics, economics], but that tension has produced a further contradiction within the economic realm itself. In the world of capitalist enterprise, the nominal ethos in the spheres of production and organization is still one of work, delayed gratification, career orientation, devotion to the enterprise. Yet on the marketing side, the sale of goods, packaged in the glossy images of glamor and sex, promotes a hedonistic way of life whose promise is the voluptuous gratification of the lineaments of desire. The consequence of this contradiction ... Is that the corporation finds its people being straight by day and swingers by night (1978: xxiv xxv).

Drug intoxication fits well into both parts of this contradictory whole. As far as work is concerned, some innovatory drug use, especially stimulant use, can enhance productivity or help with work-related stress - even if at the long-run cost to the user's health - and thus fits with the demand to produce and to be "straight by day." Examples range from assembly-line workers who smoke tobacco and office workers who drink coffee to merchant bankers who use cocaine. On the other hand, drug use fits the hedonist ethic and its interface with clock time. When work time ends and leisure/pleasure begins, a condition possible only when labor time is bought and sold as a commodity, workers are supposed to relax and enjoy themselves - i.e., to become "swingers by night." But this may not be easy to do, particularly If one works in a job where one sells not merely labor time, but also the appearance of emotional involvement (Ilochschild, 19135). Many drugs are ideally suited to such a setting. First, as Gusfield (1987) has recently discussed in relation to alcohol and coffee drinking, drugs provide rapid transitions in mood state that at once parallel and symbolize the rapid transitions between work and leisure, production and consumption. Second, since they take the form of commodities, they fit with a culturally preferred way of living in the modem capitalist world, that is, by consuming commodities.

Immediate implications of the Analysis for the War on Drugs

The preceding argument establishes a general claim - namely that there exists in modern society an identifiable "demand for drugs" that can be explained in terms of sociological and politico-economic theories. What we have not dealt with, since it Is not central to our case, is the question of how specific demands develop for particular drugs in particular settings (such as the different markets for cocaine and for crack in the U.S. today). This latter question Is legitimate and important if a complete account is to be offered, but extends beyond our purpose here. To answer the question one would need to draw upon three sets of factors in combination - pharmacology (to deal with the specific effects of drugs), economics (to deal with relative costs, prices, etc.) and, most importantly, an anthropological account of how commodities are used to create and sustain particular lifestyles (see Douglas and Isherwood, 1983, and Bourdieu, 1987, for the general argument, and Dance and Mugford, 1991, for a specific instance of drugs and lifestyle). In the present article, however, our argument hinges on the existence of "demand-In-general." not on these specific details, for it is the general argument that fundamentally challenges the underlying assumptions both of the drug warriors and also many of their opponents.

In making this point, we must make an important limitation on upon our claim. To claim that there is "demand-in-general" (and hence many instances, yet to be decoded, of "demand- in-particular") is not to claim cultural consensus in some peculiar way. As we rioted earlier, America is a contradictory and divided culture and contradictions and divisions are reproduced in many ways. One important instance is the role of pleasure in life and the question of which pleasures a person might legitimately pursue. Our claim is that one major set of ideologies centers on consumerist notions of entertainment and selfgratification, generating a large sector of demand that is systematically part of a modern culture. To employ the terms coined by Bellah et al. (1985), the cultural mode that they identify as "expressive individualism" is largely coterminous with the type of leisure-innovatory drug use to which we refer. Likewise, one would expect to find much less of such drug use within the other modes that they identify, which is another way of expressing our point about cultural contradictions.

As we have shown already, the War on Drugs has tended to assume either that the supply of drugs is the crucial element (profit discourse), and/or that demand for drugs is the product of a deficit or a "mistake" that can be overcome by treatment or education (pathology discourse). Hence, elimination/interdiction and education have become the twin pillars of U.S. policy, in a ratio of about 70 to 30 in expenditure terms (quoted in Briefing, 1990). Yet our argument demonstrates that because the demand for drugs is inherent in modern societies, even if supply of substances through international smuggling were strangled, other sources of drugs/supply would tend to develop. For example, as Kleiman (1989) has shown, increased effort on cannabis eradicadon/interdiction led to a series of negative outcomes. These included an increase In prices, which In turn spawned a changing nature of cannabis supply in the U.S. For example, on the one hand, more determined and violent criminal gangs replaced a more "hippy" distribution network and, on the other, the development of high-THC strains, such as sinsemilla, along with hydroponic cultivation, ensured crops with a high value for their volume - a typical market response to interdiction of the bulkier, lower-grade version of the substance.

Likewise, it seems improbable that either treatment or education will significantly reduce what we call "demand-in-general" for drugs and drug-related experiences. This conclusion is based upon the premise that since "demand-ingeneral" arises from deep-seated forces in the society and is not merely a result either of personal deficiency or of incorrect information, approaches that deal with the symptoms of demand cannot remove its cause. No doubt, treatment can, under some circumstances, ameliorate distress and help individuals who have problems (a category whose existence we in no way deny). By the same token, education may reshape the contours of demand, shifting consumers from one drug to another - ideally from more dangerous to less dangerous drugs, drug forms, or routes of administration. However, insofar as the demand for drugs has changed in the last decade, it is easier and more parsimonious to interpret this as a result of demographic change (as the baby-boom generation "matures out" of drug use), combined with leisure fashion change, especially regarding images of the healthy body (Featherstone, 1985: Glassner, 1990), rather than as having anything to do with the War on Drugs. This is so especially since such changes predate the war and have occurred in other countries not directly subject to the war.

None of this, however, will greatly affect the drug warriors, whose catch crv has always been "do not adjust your mind, reality is at fault." The question for liberals and for the Left, is how best to oppose this poorly formulated War on Drugs? It is to such questions we now turn.

Left Alternatives?

There are two problems with most Left analyses in the drug area The first concerns the Left understanding of drug use and the second concerns its understanding of drug control. In both areas, we argue, failure to conceptualize the problem adequately leads to an inability to produce feasible and effective progressive policy stances. Turning first to use, much left thinking is characterized by what one might term "productivism," that is, by an assumption that the core of all social reality is given by one's position in relations of work and production. This is the logical consequence of the original Marxist emphasis upon "material production" as the basis of class and, hence, of all crucial social elements within a class-based society.

Understanding the central social significance of production is unquestionably a vital contribution of Marxist theory, yet the tendency frequently has been for production to be interpreted as the only significant factor for the social order. As Baudrillard (1975) pointed out, the irony of this development Is that it reflects the productivist obsession of bourgeois culture, even though Marxist thought revolutionized our understanding of the production process Itself. Consumption became, in Marxist discourse, a mere epiphenomenon, or even worse, a distraction from the real social foundation of life. We would argue, with Warde (1990) and Moorhouse (1983) that critical social theory must restore some balance in the equation and begin to treat consumption as a key element in sociological explanation. In the field of drug use, for example, productivism obscures the possibility that people use drugs because they derive pleasure from them, that such pleasures are constructed by consumerism, and that consumption (rather than production alone) is a socially dynamic factor in society. Hence, productivist analyses are necessarily blind to what we call the pleasure discourse. Our critiques of the work of Dorn and South, who employ profit and/or pathology models (see Mugford and O'Malley, 1990; 1991), incorporate this point and can be extended to others writing in similar vein, such as Block and Chambliss (1983).

Our argument is not that other perspectives (pathology, profit, the state) are wrong. but rather that they are partial. Henman et al. (1985), for example, provide inunensely useful material for understanding the supply side of the drug trade -= drug trafficking. Their work complements, rather than contradicts, what we have argued in the previous section. The problem for the Left arises only if one assumes, as some productivists do, that the analysis of demand is unnecessary. The key point, perhaps, is that some writers on the Left find it difficult to state simply that the War on Drugs is a failure both in its own terms and in terms of its manifest purpose. The War on Drugs is allegedly pursued to protect values and institutions that many Americans hold in high regard - liberty, democracy, etc. Clearly, it falls to achieve that end and in many ways undermines precisely that which it seeks to defend. The conclusion drawn, however, is not that the War on Drugs has failed, but instead that something more sinister Is at work than mere cynicism, venality, incompetence, and/or local empire building by drug-war officials. The War on Drugs is depicted simply as a front or vehicle for the wider interests of the state or of capital. These interests are suggested to be twofold. Internationally, they center on the extension of American hegemony combined with anticommunism. especially in Central/South America (see, for example, Bullington and Block, 1990). Nationally, they center on an extension of surveillance over and control of the workers, the poor, and the underclass. In the latter argument (e.g., Johns, 1990), it is claimed that through random drug testing, treatment of users, licensing for use, etc., the daily routines and behavior of employees and others can be scrutinized and regulated. Thus, it is often argued that the War on Drugs Is "really" a success, because it allows these latter aims to be successfully pursued under the "guise" of something else. Such analyses tend to fall into the trap of attributing omniscience and omnipotence to the agencies of the state and capital.

The easiest way to deal with such analyses is to ask what else would need to be true for them to be accurate? Here are some elements that fit this bill:

1.   It must be true that there is a single, unified state, that the state has "interests," and that those interests are unitary. If a unified state with a single set of coherent interests does not exist and/or those interests are fragmented and internally conflicting, the argument becomes extremely tenuous;

2.   It must be true that these allegedly unitary interests of the state are successfully pursued by prosecuting a War on Drugs and (probably) that this is a more successful way of pursuing them than such alternatives as patriotic appeal, religious revival, reintroduction of conscription, etc. Here one would need to know the criteria of success. Surely it cannot be adequate to assume that since some people show great enthusiasm for the War on Drugs it is ipso facto a successful strategy?;

3.   As a particular example of the second point, it must be true that "surveillance" works. If surveillance does not yield control as an Inevitable (or major) outcome, if those under surveillance ignore it or successfully resist it, then the War on Drugs will not be a success; 9

4.   It must be true that the officials of the state and/or the agents and members of the ruling class are farsighted and coherent in their plans and also very cynical, since they are prepared to allow the use of drugs to continue so as to further their other interests. If these people are shown to be inefficient, corrupt, or self-seeking on the one hand, or narrow minded moralists on the other, it cannot be assumed that they are capable of such clever and coldly calculated action;

5.   It must be true that public hostility to drugs is higher than their hostility to communism or internal dissent, so that the vision of a War on Drugs is an appealing guise.

We suggest that none of these five points is broadly the case. First, the state cannot usefully be thought of as a unified body. Whether one deals with this through the older conceptions of the "pluralist" state, through more recent Marxist accounts (Poulantzas, 1979, Frankel, 1983), or through post-modern conceptions (Giddens, 1985) doesn't matter for the moment. In all cases, the conception of the state as a site of struggle, of competing forces, and of many agendas is more compelling than are unified-state models, which, in wider fields of discourse than drug politics, have largely been abandoned.

Second, It is at best unclear how one can argue that the War on Drugs has been successful, even in terms of the alleged "function" it plays for the state. What are the criteria of success? Are American interests more secure in Central/South America than they were before? if so, is this not more likely to be a result of the decline in support for left-wing insurgents as the USSR and other Eastern-bloc countries relinquish international commitments to global struggle? Might not American interests be more secure if the country did more to promote genuine peace and democracy in the countries of the region in an attempt to assuage the pandemic of anti-American feeling there? There are no self-evident ways of conclusively assessing the merits of these various projects. The most that can safely be said is not that one strategy is obviously the best or most successful from the point of view of the powerful, but rather that it has been so assessed by some people.

Turning to domestic issues and thus also to surveillance, what evidence is there that surveillance works? This is a complex matter, to say the least, but some skeptical and cautionary notes are in order. To begin with, one may argue that control is merely one moment in social life, of which resistance is the opposite tendency. That is, attempts to impose surveillance and regulation are far from automatically successful, a point well documented in the literature on attempted control in industrial settings. For example, Gouldner's (1954) classic work on the replacement of the "indulgency pattern" in a mining context and the consequent social conflict ought to give cause to hesitate before assuming successful control. A slightly different illustration is to be drawn from Cohen (1985), who argues that much alleged control is merely empty formality.

In the drug field, a contemporary example of Cohen's point might be mandatory drug testing. Recent research by Jacobs and Zimmer (1990) seems to show that the deterrent effect that might be expected from testing declines rapidly once it becomes apparent that, for a variety of reasons (the desire to protect investment in trained employees, concern for worker morale, uncertainty about a legal challenge), those who fail drug tests are rarely dismissed, but rather are sent for treatment. Since there is no treatment that works for casual recreational drug use, largely because it is not a disease, many employees fail tests repeatedly, but still are not dismissed. The outcome is that the treatment industry booms, but surveillance has little effect at the level of intended consequence.

Further, we see little evidence to suggest that the officials of the state are omniscient, omnipotent, or even remarkably clever. This does not mean that conspiracies are not attempted, or that officials of various government bodies do not have all sorts of nasty little plots that they would hatch if they could. Nonetheless, in the world in which the Watergate break-in is bungled, finally exposed, costing a president his post, in which large numbers of defense contractors are prosecuted for scams, or in which Iran-Contra deals slowly slide into the light of day, leaving high officials on trial and in disgrace, it seems simplistic to assume that a giant conspiracy can be executed in which a whole apparatus of the War on Drugs can be successfully constructed as a front for other "real" purposes.

Finally, it is far from certain that the War on Drugs has the widespread public support that its supporters and many of its opponents assume. As a rhetorical device, useful for purely symbolic purposes or at election time, the War on Drugs is quite powerful. Although opinion-poll data seem to show strong support for some aspects of it, a closer look does not always show such a clear picture. Jacobs and Zimmer (1990), for example, argue that the proportion of the American public "supporting" mandatory testing is about 60%. Yet the proportion supporting dismissal for a positive result falls to only 13% A recent study carried out in Australia carried out by Mugford found a very similar pattern. t° Respondents to a national survey (n = 1,011) apparently supported random drug testing, but when confronted with a scenario in which a law-enforcement officer tested positive for cannabis use in his leisure time, 3090 suggested his supervisor should do nothing, 4190 suggested he receive a reprimand and small fine, 2490 said he should receive treatment, and only 590 suggested he should be dismissed. Since deterrence had always ostensibly been the central thrust of testing, and since the punishment for use had always been thought to center upon the threat (at least) of dismissal, these data are striking. They suggest that, in two countries at least, the polls have measured very conventional attitudes when little reflection had been called for. Whenever reflection is required, the picture is very different and the public emerges as much less punitive than the Left has feared and the Right has hoped. Indeed, It is likely that Americans (and Australians) are more strongly opposed to certain kinds of political philosophy and certain kinds of political deviance than they are to drug use.

In short, central assumptions of a functional/conspiratorial analysis become extremely problematic once critical scrutiny is applied. A far better model of the War on Drugs can be constructed. This assumes that the impetus comes from a variety of constituencies, ranging from moral extremists who want to exert control over people who don't share their views, through moderate and concerned folk who see genuine problems in drug use and want to do something constructive, to complete cynics who simply see votes or other selfinterested benefits in the issue. The war itself is waged on a variety of fronts, often with mutually contradictory policies. 11 and beset by empire building and jealousy. As contingent factors arise, such as the decline of the Cold War and its near-automatic justification for big military budgets, opportunists jump on the bandwagon for obvious but usually unstated reasons. There is no necessary conjunction of interest between the original warriors and these opportunists, nor between different groups of opportunists. Further, as became clear in the gulf crisis, just as one contingency can bring a potential ally, so another can take that ally away.

Confusion, contradiction, fragmentation on the one hand and cynicism, moralism, and opportunism on the other, these are the elements - rather than a coherent conspiracy that functions in the interests of the state - that we see characterizing the War on Drugs. This latter characterization, however, although superior to the former, does not lead to any obvious conclusion as to what policy one might adopt against the War on Drugs. It is to this question that we turn in the last section.

What Is to Be Done?

To show that the War on Drugs is not a gigantic and clever conspiracy that serves narrow functions for the ruling class is not to absolve its perpetrators from the moral responsibility for cruelty, exploitation, and inequity carried out in its name in the U.S. today, the death toll is growing and HIV infection is rife among injecting drug users, but there are almost no needle exchanges because that would "send the wrong message about drug use." Street killings in turf disputes over drug trading are escalating among a poor and underprivileged urban underclass armed at levels rivaling the Beirut militia In such circumstances, the moral culpability of drug warriors takes on the proportions of a war crime - perhaps the only apposite application of the war metaphor? We offer no support for downplaying this culpability, but we doubt whether the previous Left critiques have been effective and can see little or no policy suggestion from the Left that would compete with the War on Drugs, a point we have elaborated elsewhere (Mugford and O'Malley, 1991). Indeed, and not without irony, much of the trenchant critique of the War on Drugs has come from the Right, who attack prohibition as a manifest failure, as another instance of governments meddling where markets could do better.

Our perspective in developing an analysis of demand allows us to offer well-founded policies that account for the nature of the demand for drugs while maintaining the established points identified by previous discourses. If the demand for excitement, fatalism, and spontaneity is a key feature of modern hedonism and if drugs (in general terms) are one culturally accepted route for pursuing this, two main clusters of questions arise regarding drug policy within countries that are heavy consumers of illicit drugs - especially the U.S. The first cluster concerns how certain drugs are to be made available - which ones, to whom, and under what circumstances. The second cluster concerns how to balance and contain the human and economic costs of legal and illegal drugs and their use. 12

If the demand for drugs is an integral feature of modern, capitalist social formations, then evidently policies based on tire assumption that this demand results from malfunction or from correctable pathology are unlikely to be effective. This is not to throw up our hands and claim that because the demand for drugs is a systemic property nothing can be done this side of the total and eternally prospective revolution. Rather, it implies the replacement of impracticable policies that aim at eliminating drug demand - such as the War on =   Drugs - with policies that aim, at least for the foreseeable future, to implement practical options. Primary among these would be policies centered on the principle of harm reduction.

Much of the debate over harm reduction is hamstrung by a failure to specIfy what "harm" is and a concomitant refusal to determine how one form of harm links with another. Mugford (1991) shows that a distinction must be made between direct harm (suffered by the user of a drug) and indirect harm (suffered by others), and between intrinsic harm (such as the alcohol/cirrhosis link) and extrinsic harm (such as the injection/AIDS link). As a moral principle, we suggest that any progressive policy has an excellent warrant to seek to reduce indirect and extrinsic harm and a duty to use education, persuasion, and other noncoercive means to reduce intrinsic direct harm. Thus, we would have a warrant to prevent exposure to passive tobacco smoking and a duty to warn smokers of their intrinsic risk. Similarly, we have a warrant to prevent heroin users from stealing to support their habits and a duty to warn them of the risks of continued use. On the other hand, we do not believe we have a mandate to outlaw either smoking per se or the use of heroin where such use generates only intrinsic harm. Readers may object that this ignores the creation of demand by corporations. Yet what if, as in China or Cuba, the latter disappear, but demand for tobacco burgeons? Further, what if we allow the continuation of advertising (the main source of demand creation) but only in dissuasive forms? Since advertising is part of an institutional complex that supports the creation of consumer demand for instant gratification and hence, by Implication, the demand for drugs. the latter stricture seems at least a reasonable attempt to use what resources we may have at hand to encourage that demand into less harmful channels. Beyond this, however, no mandate exists for prohibition strategies.

Besides understanding what harm and cost might be, we must also to deal with the way costs are related to particular drugs and control regimes. Some drugs (e.g., alcohol, cocaine) are higher on the intrinsic and direct costs of use than others (e.g., opiates). The implication here would be that, ceteris paribus, we should discourage those drugs where harm is very likely more so than those where it less likely. The division into more and less acceptable drugs, based on harm evaluation, would not coincide with the division between what is currently legal and illegal. Similarly, some modes of use (e.g., injection) and of control (e.g., prohibition) are associated with higher extrinsic and indirect costs than others (e.g., oral ingestion, legal sale). It follows that we should discourage least those modes of administration that minimize harm and we should pursue more strongly those control models that minimize extrinsic costs.

This brings us to the second main point. There are two very negative ways to handle drugs, namely prohibition and complete legalization. For example, the ban on heroin has generated a black market, soaring prices, adulteration, corruption, needle sharing (with concomitant risk of HIV or hepatitis infection), and accelerated property crime to fund use. It has helped to create a life style for the bulk of dependent users that is impoverished in several senses. The story at the opposite pole is equally bad. Alcohol and tobacco are widely available. The result is that their use has continued to spread through the 20th century both extensively (the number of locations and contexts in which use is accepted) and, to a degree, intensively (the average level of consumption of the modal user). The consequence is a huge toll in morbidity and mortality. Proponents of the legalization of currently illegal drugs draw heart from this, saying that the legal drugs are the real problem. Opponents charge that were other drugs made legal, they, too, would reap an equally bitter harvest. We suggest that both are wrong as simple statements, but the latter is nearer the truth. Left to the tender care of tobacco companies, for instance, it is difficult to see how Commercially marketed cannabis would not be pushed vigorously by the same merchants of death that currently push tobacco to teenage girls and the Third World. Prohibition, we believe, is too severe, while legalization in the sense applied to alcohol and tobacco, is too soft. We suggest that the general relation between regulation and harm is a U-curve. High on the left of this curve is prohibition, maximizing extrinsic and indirect costs. High on the right of the curve is legalization, maximizing direct and intrinsic costs in other words, given integral demand, with prohibition we see the emergence of black-market conditions resulting In hyperinflation of prices with concomitant adulteration of the drug and also property crime by users to meet the cost. At the same time, with open legalization these problems disappear, but are replaced by others. With corporate advertising encouraging use, more people consume the drugs and individual use levels rise, leading to a rising curve of harm as the intrinsic costs, such as lung cancer (from tobacco), or cirrhosis (from alcohol) begin to mount up. Prohibition and open legalization thus share two common features - damage done to society and to users on the one hand and high profits for sellers on the other. We suggest further that the pursuit of private profit in drug sales, whether legal or illegal, leads to increased harm.

This suggests that what we need to aim for in a policy of harm reduction is moving ourselves toward the bottom of the U-curve, away from complete prohibition of currently illegal drugs, and away from the very open availability of legal drugs. With alcohol and tobacco, this does not mean banning them or driving use "underground," but it does mean such things as removing advertising of the products, hiking prices near to, but not over, the point at which substantial black-market alternatives would enter the market, more rigorously enforcing age limits on purchase, etc. - all well known and widely advocated measures. With illegal drugs, we need to ask how we can move away from du    prohibition without causing a flood of use. Here there are two central, interconnected principles we would advocate: (1) normalize the user, not the use; and (2) build upon the resources of "civil society."

With respect to the first principle, it seems clear that the costs to society of drug prohibition - principally extrinsic and indirect costs - spiral when the drug user is pilloried and denigrated. Used as the specter of our time, the "junkie" becomes a negative mythic figure who has myriad political uses. Real junkies, however problematic, are only ever a minority of illicit drug users, are not helped by these myths. Rather, they are pushed further toward harmful use and social irresponsibility. There are better ways to handle this. The Dutch, for example, who have practiced the first principle assiduously, have made it clear that in normalizing their users, they expect them to have both the normal rights of other citizens and to display the normal responsibilities of other citizens. There is every reason to believe that other countries can achieve this too - but, as we have tried to demonstrate, drug wars would be counter-effective to this goal.

The second principle is the collective extension of the first. To rely upon the market to control drugs, upon the state to effectively police use, or to assume that the best mix is merely to balance these two is to miss the significance of "civil society" - that web of social institutions and relations located outside of economics and politics. Studies of groups using legal and/or illegal drugs illustrate the point made by Zinberg (1984) that the "setting" is the vital determinant in controlling drugs. What the peer group defines as acceptable heavily influences what the individual does. Relying upon the market to control drug use risks replicating life pattern established with alcohol over the last century whereby commercial forces colonize all corners of the social world, influencing peer groups along the way, so that use becomes more acceptable - a poor model for cocaine or opiates. if we rely upon the state to control use through prohibition, overall use levels for any drug will probably be lower than under legalization, reducing the total of intrinsic and direct costs. Other costs rise sharply, however, and the prosecution of offenders undermines the potential both for self-control and, more importantly, for peer-group control. To maximize the potential of civil society to serve as a basis for control, we need to bring drug users in from the cold (i.e., normalize users), while not making use itself a commercially based activity (i.e., do not normalize use). With respect to illegal drugs, this would mean that harm reduction would center on a variety of practical policies such as:

1.   Making the safer options for drug use more easily available than the dangerous ones. For example, coca tea might be available through limited outlets, and more readily available than cocaine, which in turn would be more available than "crack," which one might want to continue to restrict very severely;

2.   Safer routes of administration would be encouraged over more hazardous ones. For example, opium for smoking would be easier to obtain than morphine;

3.   The cultivation, possession, and private sale of small amounts of cannabis would be decriminalized, although no large-scale legal market would be permitted;

4.   heroin would be made available through a variety of prescription or licensing arrangements, such that those who really want to use it can do so, but without incentives to attract new users; and

5.   Attractive advertising of all drugs should be banned, while educational and dissuasive advertising (such as the Quit campaign against tobacco smoking run by several Australian state governments) would be encouraged and might be financed from drug-related tax revenues.

Many other possible mechanisms with which we sympathize have recently been detailed (see Journal of Drug Issues, 1990); together with those we have outlined, they should suffice to show the policy direction we advocate as well as the extent to which we have drawn not simply upon the pleasure discourse, but rather on all four discourses to some degree. We have relied implicitly on the state discourse in assuming that existing prohibitionary laws are based on political-economic interests and power rather than on scientific evidence about drugs, and we have proposed changes to those laws. We have relied upon the profit discourse, applied to both legal and illegal drugs, to suggest that the pursuit of profit is associated with high levels of harm. We have also relied upon parts of the pathology discourse Do understand that some users have real problems that policies should seek to curtail and treat. These policy suggestions do not exhaust the matter of policy, for as we have argued, the implications of integral demand (the pleasure discourse) must be central to policy formation. In this respect, our approach differs from the productivism of many Left works, such as Big Deal (Henman et al., 1985), which are oriented toward the producer countries. We argue instead that in considering the question of supplier countries, demand leads supply. Thus, insofar as drug policy is able to contribute anything useful to those countries (apart from their indigenous polIcy development), it would be that resolving the supply problem hinges on addressing the demand in the consumer countries, rather than the problems of the supplier countries. To concentrate upon supplier countries is a xenophobic strategy in which their venality is blamed for our (Western) problems, when in reality the problems are inherent to our culture and we have exported them backwards along the drug trafficking trail by interfering in the economies and polities of those countries even more than was already the case in the capitalist world system. If the Peruvian economy is devoted Do coca, when once coca was one staple among many, and if coca dollars distort the economy even further today, that is "our" fault, not "theirs."

Setting this right, of course, requires much more than drug policy. Abandoning the War on Drugs, however, would be a useful starting point for producer countries. For consumer countries, though, it is not simply a useful starting point, it is the essential and previously missing element in drug policy. The War on Drugs is a failed strategy pursued by those with limited imaginations, punitive inclinations, and a desire for quick fixes to social problems. Progressive polices must avoid the trap of competing for popularity by pursuing equally or more draconian policies - a popularity that may be imagined rather than real. Rather, progressive policy demands a coherent analysis of the demand for drugs and policies must be based on that analysis. We believe that this article takes some small steps down that road.


1.   The following four discourses, of course, are idealisations: In most cases, the particular writers or papers cited express some admixture of each. As will become clear, those working primarily with a discourse of profit frequently combine it with the discourse on the state (e.g., Block and Chambliss, 1983, on heroin and cocaine). Those working primarily with a discourse of pathology, frequently combine it with a discourse of profit (e.g., Dorn and South, 1987) and so on.

2.   This approach is common among users of such drugs, who take for granted the idea that use is pleasurable. That is systematically silenced by the pathology discourse, which ignores the idea of pleasure and/or treats it as part of the problem (only weak people seek such pleasures).

3.   That is, it is something that occurs so commonly in human groups as to need no special explanation for any one instance or use.

4.   That is, it is something that is so common among a variety of species, or which humans are only one, as to require no special explanation for human use.

5.   Recent developments in the sociology of crime (Katz.. 1988) and In the sociology of leisure (Lyng. 1990) have begun systematically to think of pleasure as a vital matter for social explanation. making occasional reference to the bearing of this on the drug issue. These fragmentary remarks, however, do not constitute a discourse on drugs. We have developed a critique of these approaches elsewhere (O'Malley and Mugford. n.d.).

6.   The division into these two types is analytic, not empirical, for there is no absolute line between the two. Continuities include some sharing of suppliers, times, and places where the drugs are used and a "culture" of use: some similarities in the demographics of users: and the fact that: (1) at a given moment. a set of users may be ranged along a continuum from one to the other with a group at each end and a grey area between: (2) an individual may be located at different points on the continuum at different times within their career of use. Myths to the contrary, that does not mean that the move is always from leisure to deficit type of use. Individuals move back and forth as the extent of self-limitation rises and falls, Nonetheless. as we hope to demonstrate, the analytic division is useful.

7.   Often, this Is called the "Protestant Ethic," following Weber's work. Yet as Campbell (1987) has pointed out. this is wrong. What is meant by the commonsensical use of the phrase actually refers to the "spirit of capitalism."

8.   It cannot escape notice that Weber (1958) was also intensely aware of the role of irony (n the emergence of modem capitalism, for in the realm of production an asceticism of the spurt eventually unleashed rampant acquisitiveness.

9.   We do not claim that the surveillance strategy has no effects, nor that such effects cannot be in the broad Interests of those who pursue the strategy. While the effects and their beneficiaries remain to be demonstrated, such an outcome is not impossible. Our specific problem, however, is with those analyses that "read off" outcomes as functionally favorable to those in power by assuming that the projects of the powerful automatically work as they (the powerful) would wish. 10.   Further details are available from the author on request.

11.   For example, success in restricting the supply of one drug (such as cannabis) can lead to a drought and hence to an increase in the supply of another (such as amphetamines). Often the latter is more dangerous than the former so that total harm levels increase ("success is failure"). More Importantly, policies to control drugs run foul of those to control AIDS and via versa. There is no single plan, William Bennett's short reign notwithstanding.

12.   One of us has discussed these questions at length elsewhere (Mugford, 1991) and the detailed argument may be sought there.


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Our valuable member Pat O'Malley has been with us since Sunday, 19 December 2010.

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