Download Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, by Thomas Szasz PDF

By Thomas Szasz

Hardcover. eightvo. Blue and cream coloured fabric with illustrated airborne dirt and dust jacket. Dj representation via Edward Gorey. First variation. a few chipping and put on to edges of dj with small closed tear in backbone. minimum put on to board edges. Occassional pink pencil markings all through. Else, fresh and sound. solid to excellent.

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Implicit in the visit, and in the powers and propensities of the visitors, is the further message that if the bribes are rejected, more direct and painful means may be used to exact compliance. Finally, the invader leaves, but not before celebrating his own drug ceremonial, thus making it clear that his real aim is to convert the natives from their drug (opium) to his (alcohol) . Here, then, in microcosm-in a tiny Laotian village-we see the American anti-narcotic crusade writ large. Like Christians burning mosques and temples to spread the word of Jesus, modern dmgabuseologists burn crops to spread the use of alcohol.

Similarly, when Jews avoid pork, Hindus beef, and 32 CBllEMONIAL CHEMISTRY vegetarians the meat of all animals, they do so for reasons that are properly called ceremonial. We need to experience communion with our fellow human beings-and sometimes with the forces we attribute to nature, the univene, or a godhead-and to satisfy this need we use, among other things, certain substances that affect our feelings and behavior. " Actually, the effects of so-called psychoactive drugs-as opposed to the effects of antibiotics, diuretics, and many other types of pharmacological agents-are determined partly by their chemical composition and partly by the expectations of those who use them.

3 The contents of these laws-that is, the behaviors proscribed and the penalties prescn"bed for them-illustrate, finally, the combined magical, medical, and political character of such legislation. The penalty for the unlawful possession of two ounces or more of "any narcotic substance" is "15 years to life imprisonment"; for the unlawful possession of one ounce or more of marijuana, it is one to fifteen years of imprisonment; and for the unlawful possession of five milligrams or more of LSD, it is one year to life imprisomnent.

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