Review Of Chapter 3 Of Peaceful Measures Essay

& # 8211 ; Canada & # 8217 ; s Way Out Of The Drug Wars Essay, Research PaperIn his book Peaceful Measures: Canada & # 8217 ; s Way Out of the & # 8216 ; War on Drugs & # 8217 ; Alexander ( 1990 ) argues that for over a century, drug-control policy around the universe and in Canada have been turning progressively warlike.

The costs of this drug war, in both money and human agony, have been steadily increasing, although its aims have non been met. Alexander cites extended research that indicates that illegal drugs are no more harmful or habit-forming than legal drugs like intoxicant and baccy, and no more likely to do anybody to travel out of control. Opium sticks, for illustration, used to be sold at corner stores in England in the 19th century, without dependence going an overpowering job. Legal ordinance and controlled distribution of drugs, similar policies adopted in Holland, or the dolophine hydrochloride care plans provided for some nuts in England, seem more likely to be successful in sabotaging the injury caused by condemnable drug rings, than the prosecution of users ( Hale, 1995 ) . Alexander argues that the war on drugs continues because it meets other psychological and societal demands that have small to make with the usage of drugs as such. Peoples live in a existent universe characterized by force that is perpetuated by felons, defeated lovers, soldiers, guerrillas, spiritual fiends, foolhardy drivers, constabularies, parents, partners, and so on, and they face the menace of environmental pollution on a monolithic graduated table from atomic waste, industrial chemicals, sewerage, oil spills and so forth.

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Illegal drugs act as an alibi, and supply a whipping boy & # 8211 ; something concrete to fault, and around which members of a society can mobilise their emotions and experience some sense of coherence. The intensification of moral terror around drugs, like the seventeenth century campaign against & # 8220 ; boisterous & # 8221 ; Puritans, helps to reenforce a sense of societal coherence and order in the face of divisible forces ( Hale, 1995 ) . Alexander & # 8217 ; s book, specifically Chapter 3, will be reviewed and analyzed, and how the work tantrums within the one of the four sociological paradigms, every bit good as the cogency of his grounds and research will be discussed.From the brief debut about Alexander & # 8217 ; s above, one already senses a Durkheimian spirit in his work. However, Alexander does non stress the structural system as being the root cause of the drug-related jobs. On closer scrutiny, Alexander & # 8217 ; s position is more interpretative in nature, and his work closely fits the logic of the societal constructionists. In societal constructionist theory, illegal drug usage, or offense in general, is non viewed as an entity, instead it emerges through the accounting processes, as the result of determinations about how to categorise experience. This position focuses attending on discourse, the common system of reading, through which offense comes to be defined and recognized.

The work of professionals in the condemnable justness system involves doing readings and transforming this discourse into the organized patterns of control and direction of offense. These interpretative transformative patterns constitute the site of ongoing battle ( Hale, 1995 ) .One of the major issues addressed in Alexander & # 8217 ; s book is whether or non a War on Drugs truly exists. He says that the & # 8220 ; War on Drugs & # 8221 ; is truly like a war in many manner.

The extent of planetary engagement can non be assessed merely by numbering organic structures, although there has been much force, but is best measured in footings of other wartime tactics: propaganda, descrying, repeal of normal peace-time rights, centralized authorization, outrageously controlled disbursement, and so forth. Alexander is careful to observe that exerting normal societal and legal control in support of community criterions on drug usage is non portion of the War on Drugs. However, he says that & # 8220 ; efforts to make a & # 8216 ; drug-free & # 8217 ; state or universe, to exert & # 8216 ; zero tolerance & # 8217 ; , and to accomplish coveted criterions of behaviour through violent repression domestically and in the Third World are more like war steps than normal societal control. & # 8221 ; ( Alexander, 1990 ) Alexander tries to demo that the War on Drugs has failed to command he societal job that instigated it, failed to discourage drug usage, all the piece making serious new jobs in the procedure.Constructionist theory is particularly valuable in understanding morality offenses, those frequently referred to as victimless offenses. These are transactional offenses where the individuals are interchanging illicit goods or services do non see themselves as either victims or felons. Such offenses include about all sexual behavior like harlotry, and the purchase of illicit drugs, and illegal gaming.

( Hale, 1995 ) The roots of societal constructionist theories of offense can be traced to Emile Durkheim & # 8217 ; s observation that offense is a natural societal activity even in healthy societies. Crime is behaviour which violates the scruples collective or the shared beliefs and sentiments of the community. Crime is functional, and possibly even indispensable for a society, because in their corporate reaction to it people are drawn together to reaffirm their values and societal coherence.

( Hale, 1995 ) The Puritans, for illustration, who settled in Massachusetts in the 1630s, created an extraordinarily strict and observant community. The labeled many activities that were platitude ( dancing, card playing ) as pervert for people like themselves. In making so, they drew symbolic brackets around their community, specifying behavioural boundaries between themselves and others, and therefore placing their group as distinct.

Their preoccupation with rooting out perverts functioned to reenforce their community values and individuality.The labeling of drug users as pervert or felons can sabotage a individual & # 8217 ; s self-esteem and set off a rhythm of reaction and neutralization that drives the deviantized individual into farther Acts of the Apostless of nonconformity and finally entire separation from the group. The individual is transformed from person who on occasion did incorrect things into a pervert or condemnable individual. The experience of being treated as a debauched foreigner can drive people to tie in more extensively with other foreigners and get down to organize a corporate individuality around a aberrant subculture. Negative societal reactions toward stigmatized people can therefore work to advance instead than suppress the development of aberrant ways of life.

The war on drugs in the U.S may good be functioning to worsen all the jobs associated with drugs by bring forthing a procedure of secondary aberrance. The prosecution and imprisonment of drug users turns them into societal castawaies who are forced into closer and more sole association with each other.

At the same clip, drug prohibition promotes condemnable gangsters who run the trade, and if forces up the cost of drugs, which farther pushes users to turn to offense to acquire the money to purchase them. ( Alexander, 1990 ) Another baleful side consequence of the & # 8220 ; zero tolerance & # 8221 ; for drugs is the rampant spread of AIDS among drug users, since the distribution of clean acerate leafs to nuts is a condemnable offense in many topographic points. In contrast, in the Netherlands where prohibitionist drug Torahs are no longer enforced gangsters cant operate since the market is controlled. The issue of legalisation excessively has jobs, nevertheless is another issue and will non be discussed here ( Alexander, 1990 ) .Alexander says that the War on Drugs & # 8220 ; has non been conducted displaying incompetence, but that it is basically misconceived and hence can non succeed. & # 8221 ; ( Alexander, 1990 ) .

He cites many illustrations of extreme and senseless warlike tactics over this & # 8220 ; great evil & # 8221 ; of drugs. The extent of existent force used in implementing Canadian drug Torahs is difficult to find exactly, nevertheless, it is clear that many Canadians have been lawfully subjected to cruel and unusual penalty in the prosecution of the War on Drugs. This is possible because the jurisprudence enforcement system has been granted tremendous powers by the drug Torahs. Police, in fact have far broader powers in even minor drug instances than they do for slaying, colza and other serious condemnable probes ( Alexander, 1990 ) . The very nature of the War on Drugs has opened up the doors for much corruptness and force by authorization figures.

As good, this has besides given birth to a complex web of condemnable activity in the signifier of a drug industry, that has spawned much force and offenses within our ain communities, and throughout the universe.In add-on to the usage of war steps as agencies of implementing drug policy, there is an interweaving of the drug war and international political struggle. There is a close relationship between escalations of anti-drug steps and eruptions of public fright of political enemies. Furthermore, authoritiess appear to utilize public repugnance towards drugs as a manner of inflaming hostility towards international enemies and warranting violent action.Although the War on Drugs makes usage of the methods, linguistic communication, and outlook of regular militarywars, it fits more with the forms of wars of persecution, instead than archetypal wars. Drug users and distributers are presently treated in much the same manner as misbelievers during the Inquisition, the homeless English hapless during the 18th century, and political dissenters in the unstable states of the Third World. In each instance, the reprobates seem to stand for existent immoralities that threaten society, which allays its frights symbolically by organized persecution ( Alexander, 1990 ) .

Along with much of the universe, Canada has been swept into a & # 8216 ; War on Drugs & # 8217 ; that clouds its values, brutalizes its actions, and in the terminal, exacerbates the jobs it was intended to work out. The War on Drugs is a cruel and dearly-won failure ( Alexander, 1990 ) . Alexander suggests following good options, & # 8216 ; peaceable steps & # 8217 ; in topographic point of war steps, so that drug-related jobs can be approached with both greater humanity and better chances for success. Alexander begins with inside informations about large-scale and small-scale study research, and constabularies statistics, and how these widely used beginnings of information tend to be used in misdirecting ways, in order to convert the public support anti-drug actions. He so gives definitions for forms of drug usage, along a continuum of engagement, runing from complete abstention to dependence ( see Appendix ) .

Black lovage focuses in the subject of drug dependence and criticizes the common use of the word. & # 8216 ; Addiction & # 8217 ; is derived from the Latin addicere, intending & # 8216 ; give over & # 8217 ; . It was normally used as a word for admirable devotedness, or a chase. A new definition of dependence emerged in the nineteenth century when the moderation and anti-opium motion began using the term to accustomed inebriation and accustomed opium usage. This new use narrowed the significance of the word by associating it to specific drugs, needfully giving it an unfavourable negative significance, by placing backdown symptoms and tolerance as facets of the definition, and by imputing dependence to the drug itself ( Alexander, 1990 ) . The moderation motion narrowed the definition of dependence as portion of their run to elicit antipathy towards accustomed rummies and to derive public support for intoxicant prohibition In England, another societal transmutation tied the term dependence with opium by naming it an & # 8216 ; habit-forming & # 8217 ; drug.

The implicit in purpose was to let medical professionals to spread out their district by altering what had been considered a failing, into a disease called dependence. If opium usage became a disease, so doctors could happen employment bring arounding it, and druggists could claim a monopoly merchandising opium, instead than go forthing it universally cheaply available. This is but little portion of the narrative on the altering nature of the word & # 8216 ; dependence & # 8217 ; , yet already the confusion can be seen.Black lovage goes on to speak about how dependence in our society is normally associated with intoxicant and illicit drugs, about comparing these footings with each other. He so tries to show that there are & # 8216 ; positive dependences & # 8217 ; that are impermanent and good. Although his instance for & # 8216 ; positive dependences & # 8217 ; is non really concrete, he win in casting visible radiation on the fact that the public perceptual experience on dependence as a monolithic societal job is extremely overdone. By adverting & # 8216 ; positive dependences & # 8217 ; neither the writer of this essay, nor Alexander, intend to excuse such drug usage, but the term is used to indicate out that drugs in and of themselves are non needfully harmful, and that the user is non needfully a bad individual.

One must look at the conditions, and fortunes, and nature of the drug usage to derive a better apprehension of this supposed & # 8216 ; drug epidemic & # 8217 ; we are in.Alexander points out that & # 8216 ; dependence & # 8217 ; is frequently used to depict other mundane activities. He stresses there is small difference between negative dependences to drugs and to other activities. This has been show in the research literature, which tells of compulsive love relationships, and that one of an intense, irrational nature is finally every bit destructive as terrible diacetylmorphine dependence. Apparent differences between these two instances disappear one time the deformed media position of diacetylmorphine dependence is discounted and the two are consistently compared on the same dimensions ( Alexander, 1990 ) Newspaper histories of menaces, shots, and self-destruction by distraught lovers are common, yet the term dependence is non usually applied in journalistic histories. But this evidently does non propose that love is all habit-forming in the negative sense.

Negative habit-forming engagement to many activities other than love can be compulsive and harmful as negative drug dependences. These activities include chancing, spiritual associations, billboard of money, television-viewing, overworking, eating and dieting, and countless other activities. Merely as dependences to these activities can take to the same sorts of jobs as drug dependences, the same sorts of redresss should be employed. For illustration, the broken places and devastation of self-respect that accompany negative dependence to a cult are strikingly similar to those associated with alcohol addiction, and the redress is based straight on techniques by Alcoholics Anonymous.The drug-war definition of dependence is a nineteenth century medical and moral construct that was attached to a venerable word and used to advance the War on Drugs.

It reduced the complex phenomenon of dependence to nil more than a disease of inordinate drug ingestion accompanied by backdown symptoms and tolerance. It therefore defined nuts as a separate group that could be pitied, despised, or cured, but & # 8211 ; because they had the dreaded drug disease & # 8212 ; could non be understood in the same footings as the remainder of humanity. There are many other footings in the vocabulary of the War on Drugs that carry constitutional justifications for the drug war in their definitions and common use. One of the most familiar is & # 8216 ; drug abuse & # 8217 ; . What precisely does this term intend? For the most portion, it is used by people to depict the drug usage they do non O.

K. of, and it hence refers to different drugs and forms of drug usage in different contexts. The term conveys the impression of societal disapproval, and does non needfully depict any specific form of drug usage or effects. Such a term is used as a battle-cry to acquire people to take action, or as Alexander put it & # 8220 ; establish them into conflict & # 8221 ; , but it can & # 8217 ; t be used to truly addition peoples & # 8217 ; apprehension of the people against whom the & # 8220 ; conflict & # 8221 ; is being waged.Alexander besides criticizes the usage of footings like & # 8216 ; physical dependance & # 8217 ; , which is instead deceptive because it views the head and organic structure as separate entities.

It is erroneous to see drugs as a biological job of the organic structure, merely, without consideration for psycho-social jobs. We all have a & # 8220 ; hungering & # 8221 ; for bar from clip to clip, and we don t associate this with any biological demand for bar in peculiar. However, when a individual has a & # 8220 ; hungering & # 8221 ; for a drug, this mental event is assumed to be a physical job. A expression at & # 8216 ; love addicts & # 8217 ; will farther clear up this false belief of mind-body dualism. We tend to merely tie in love to a mental/psychological province, so that when a adolescent in & # 8216 ; in love & # 8217 ; with another individual, we automatically assume it is an dependence in the head, but non in their organic structures.

But if one were to sit down and speak to any adolescent, one is rapidly revealed the truths of the affair ( Alexander, 1990 ) .The job with the War on Drugs attack is that it fails to handle drug jobs at the beginning. All attempts are made to stress it & # 8217 ; s black nature, but small is done in footings of rectifying the underlying jobs that lead people towards drug usage. The obliteration of drugs is seen as a remedy, as though drugs were a job in and of itself. Much of what society presently does to command drug usage can moderately be described as a War on Drugs, carried out by authoritiess with much public blessing.

Militant facets of current drug-control policy and pattern include: big graduated table pattern of military and civil force ; consistent usage of war linguistic communication by drug-policy functionaries ; infliction of compulsory intervention on drug users who have non been convicted of offenses ; announcement of wildly overdone anti-drug propaganda ; infliction of rough condemnable punishments, including decease, that are usually reserved for slaying and lese majesty ; repeal of normal protection for civil rights ( as under soldierly jurisprudence ) ; public and official support for people who inform members of their ain households ; support for force, including anguish, in the Third World ; usage of economic levers against the Third World that will do the famishment of big Numberss of people ; widespread usage of undercover agents and agents provocateurs by enforcement bureaus ; infliction of enduring non merely on drug sellers and users, but besides on constabularies and medical patients. A concluding set of casualties in the War on Drugs is the immature people, whose serious jobs are ignored by a society that simplistically blames drugs alternatively of existent causes.


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