Drugs, Law and the State

Drugs, Law and the State

Harold H. Traver
Mark S. Gaylord
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Drugs, Law and the State
    Book Description:

    This book contains nine essays written by distinguished scholars from North America. Europe, and Asia, and provides an in-depth examination of the socio-legal developments of drug control in different countries. Important rational approaches to the formulation of drug policy are discussed. A must-read for anyone interested in the highly topical, worldwide drug problem.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-107-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-ix)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Dedication To Alfred R. Lindesmith, 1905-1991
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Karl Schuessler
  6. Foreword
    (pp. xv-xxix)
    Alan A. Block

    There are few events in recent history that appear so insensible as the covert arming of Iran and the resulting diversion of profits through Swiss, Panamanian, and Cayman Islands banks purportedly to support the Contras in Nicaragua. As the well-known story goes, the Iran action generated enough money to allow U.S. national security agents, particularly Lt. Colonel Oliver North, to fulfill the dream of maintaining the Contras in the field despite what was termed congressional footdragging and the misguided policies of liberals. By privatizing secret activities in both instances, the planners believed they had found a means of circumventing congressional...

  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Mark S. Gaylord and Harold H. Traver

    The essays contained in Drugs, Law and the State are based on the notion that drug control policy largely reflects the society in which it is found. This idea, of course, derives from the traditional sociological position that the substantive content of law depends primarily on the larger society. For the most part this idea is substantiated in these essays, but the reader will also learn that smaller nations are currently under pressure from larger and more powerful countries to adopt drug control policies that run counter to their national traditions. Yet here, too, the idea that public policy reflects...

  8. Part I Drug Control Policy and the State
    • 1 The Consequences of Prohibition: Crime, Corruption, and International Narcotics Control
      (pp. 15-32)
      William J. Chambliss

      Make no mistake about it, the prohibition era did not end in the United States or elsewhere in the world when the anti-alcohol laws were abolished in the early 1930s. The only change was that one form of drug, alcohol, was legalized, while other forms, particularly cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, were either criminalized or laws that were previously dormant suddenly took center stage in the law enforcement process (Lindesmith, 1969).

      As a consequence, all of the ills and problems created by alcohol prohibition became institutionalized. International cartels engaged in smuggling illicit drugs emerged, grew wealthy and powerful, and fine-tuned their...

    • 2 Drugs and Social Control in Scandinavia: A Case Study in International Moral Entrepreneurship
      (pp. 33-48)
      Jørgen Jepsen

      Seen from an international perspective, the Scandinavian countries as a group seem homogeneous with respect to drug control policy. The absence of capital punishment and the infrequent resort to long prison sentences make Scandinavia appear to “lag behind” a good deal of the rest of the world. Moreover, when compared to the level of drug use and crime in such places as the U.S. and Latin America, Scandinavia represents a relatively peaceful picture.

      On closer examination, however, Scandinavia increasingly seems to be imitating the patterns of the outside world. For instance, the differences between Denmark, on the one hand, and...

    • 3 Drugs and the Law in Post-Franco Spain
      (pp. 49-64)
      Axel R. Reeg

      During a 1986 election campaign, a member of the Spanish Parliament claimed that the Secretary of State for International Relations was regularly using cocaine. The Secretary considered this a defamation of character, sued the M.P. for damages and asked a Madrid civil court for retraction (El País, 1988e). The court’s judgment was somewhat surprising: the M.P. was ordered to retract his unproved allegation but the Secretary’s claim for compensation was dismissed as unfounded. In the court’s opinion the fact that one is said to be a user of illicit drugs does not constitute an injury to one’s honor or reputation....

    • 4 Finnish Drug Control Policy: Change and Accommodation
      (pp. 65-78)
      Ahti Laitinen

      In many parts of the world illegal drug trafficking is a major industry. According to some estimates the cocaine trade in the United States exceeds Finland’s annual state budget by 500%. In certain Latin American countries, such powerful drug trafficking organizations exist that government resistance to them is severely emasculated (Garreau, 1982; Määttänen, 1988).

      In the Nordic countries, the situation is very different. Nordic countries have a distinctive culture, despite their obvious connections to other European nations. One of their features is the policy goal of guaranteeing the best possible social welfare for all citizens. Consequently, real poverty in Scandinavia...

  9. Part II The Political Economy of Drugs
    • 5 The Chinese Laundry: International Drug Trafficking and Hong Kong’s Banking Industry
      (pp. 81-98)
      Mark S. Gaylord

      For mainland Chinese with hopes of relocating eventually in the West, Hong Kong has long been a way station. The British colony’s transient population has been made up mostly of Cantonese, those who originate from the region around the city of Guangzhou (Canton) just north of Hong Kong, and it is the Cantonese whose language and culture dominate in the city.

      Part of this cultural heritage involves an organized crime tradition that dates back nearly a hundred years. Triad “secret societies” were originally part of a patriotic resistance movement on the part of ethnic Chinese in protest to the political...

    • 6 The Yakuza and Amphetamine Abuse in Japan
      (pp. 99-118)
      Masayuki Tamura

      Organized crime in Japan is dominated by several large, nationwide syndicates collectively referred to as the Yakuza. The Yakuza have a long and colorful history and their own peculiar subculture. They are involved in a number of illicit activities, but their most lucrative one derives from their control of the drug trade. Current drug problems in Japan include glue sniffing among juveniles and the intravenous injection of stimulants (methamphetamines and amphetamines) among the adult population. In connection with these two problems, the Yakuza almost completely monopolize the illegal distribution and sale of stimulants.

      The Yakuza have approximately 90 000 members...

    • 7 The Organized Crime/Drug Connection: National and International Perspectives
      (pp. 119-134)
      Ernesto Ugo Savona

      The social alarm surrounding drug trafficking and organized crime comprises both a risk and a merit. The risk is that the focus on drug trafficking per se will cause us to overlook the fact that it is but one aspect of organized crime. The merit is that drug trafficking is becoming the main factor underlying changes in the organization of crime groups. These points can be reconciled, though, by considering drug trafficking within the broader context of changes in organized crime.

      Successful drug market operations require organizational structures different from those in other illegal activities such as gambling or loansharking....

    • 8 Colonial Relations and Opium Control Policy in Hong Kong, 1841-1945
      (pp. 135-150)
      Harold H. Traver

      Most research on the relationship between law and the economic and social conditions from which it emerges has been confined to Western societies. Notable exceptions to this generalization include Fitzpatrick (1980), Sumner (1982), and Huggins (1985), whose studies present detailed analyses of the role of law in maintaining control of cheap and compliant labor in Third World countries. Nevertheless, there is a relative paucity of research on other types of law in these societies. Drug laws are a case in point. Research on the creation of these laws has generally concentrated on the U.S. (Musto, 1973; Lindesmith, 1959, 1965), and...

  10. Part III Future Directions
    • 9 Illegal Drugs: Where We Stand and What We Can Do
      (pp. 153-166)
      John F. Galliher

      The United States is the most forceful magnet for illegal drugs in the world. And it must from the outset be recognized that it is largely beyond the scope of the law to explain why this is true. We assume that historical, cultural, and economic factors are more important than the law in creating this problem. Moreover, there is no reason to give any legitimacy to our existing legal controls since they have never been based on scientific demonstrations of a drug’s dangers but rather on racism. Musto (1973), for example, demonstrates that the strongest support for the legal prohibition...

  11. Index
    (pp. 167-176)