Drugs, Law, People, Place and the State: Ongoing regulation, resistance and change

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Stewart Williams, Barney Warf
Routledge, Oct 2, 2017 - Social Science - 152 pages

Though any psychoactive substance can be revered or reviled as a drug, as people’s cultural norms shift, ultimately its status is determined in law by the state. This publication explores the regulation of drugs – alcohol and cannabis to heroin and cocaine – and practices such as social drinking and public injecting under political regimes. Drugs are discussed in their geographical contexts: the colonial legacy of cannabis prohibition for bioprospecting in Africa; the veracity of the persistent notion of the narco-state; Turkey’s governance of drinking amid civil unrest; and alcohol’s place in the neoliberal political economy of Ireland. In addition, drug policies are examined: from problems in managing drug-related litter in the UK to supervised injecting facility provision in Australia; harm reduction in Canada; and the global network of drug policy activists. Place is significant, but porous borders, territorial overlaps and multi-scalar linkages are influential in remaking the world through current challenges to the ‘war on drugs’. This book was originally published as a special issue of Space & Polity.


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Drug laws bioprospecting and the agricultural heritage
The myth of the narcostate
regulating the place and practice
Neoliberalism and the alcohol industry in Ireland
Colliding intervention in the spatial management of street

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About the author (2017)

Stewart Williamsis interested in matters of risk, regulation and resilience from the perspective of public policy and spatial planning. He has combined critical social theory with mixed research methods to analyse housing and homelessness, climate change and disaster management, community decline and regeneration, and drug production and consumption.

Barney Warf'sresearch concerns producer services and telecommunications, particularly the geographies of the internet, including the digital divide, e-government, and internet censorship. He examines these topics, and such others as political geography, religion, cosmopolitanism, and corruption, through the lens of political economy and social theory.

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