Works that take a broader view of drug problems and their relationship to global social, political and economic forces.
The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit by Bruce Alexander – the best and most comprehensive take on how the growth of addiction is intertwined with macro-level decisions about the global economic system, the way in which we construct our communities, the consequences of dislocation of individuals from community and how addiction fills the void. This is the culmination of a life’s work by a brilliant Canadian scholar. A must read.
Methland by Nick Reding is an analysis of the growth of the methamphetamine production and use in the American mid-west in the last 10 years. Reding connects the dots between global economic forces, government complicity and corporate policies that contribute to the disintegration of small town American life and the role of methamphetamine within this context.
Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields by long time southern US reporter Charles Bowden is another contribution to the growing list of works indicting the War on Drugs. Bowden also connects the dots to the growth of the Mexican drug business in northern Mexico, the implementation of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the broader political and economic forces at play in North America today.
Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation, and Power in Canada, 1920 – 1961. Catherine Carstairs. “Catherine Carstairs demonstrates how discourses of race, gender, and class have influenced drug regulation in Canada, and, even more intriguing, emphasized the significant impact that regulation had on drug users.”
After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation is the Transform Drug Policy Foundation’s latest book. One of the most thoughtful and thorough pieces on how we can move beyond the War on Drugs to a new paradigm of legally regulated and controlled substances that are now in the hands of organized criminals and unregulated dealers causing the all too familiar havoc around the world – think Afghanistan or Mexico or Jamaica or some part of any major city or your city or town. Finally someone has charted out what the exit strategy to the War on Drugs could look like. Kudos to Transform and the brilliant Steve Rolles and his many helpers in this effort.