Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers
Syracuse University Press, 2003 - Political Science - 290 pages
Thomas Szasz suggests that governments have overstepped their bounds in labeling and prohibiting certain drugs as "dangerous" substances and incarcerating drug "addicts" in order to cure them. Szasz asserts that such policies scapegoat illegal drugs and the persons who use and sell them, and discourage the breaking of drug habits by pathologizing drug use as "addiction." Reaers will find in Szasz's arguments a cogent and committed response to a worldwide debate.
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I find the copy of this invaluable and groundbreaking book in my possession is really the property of the Cambridge University Institute of Criminology Library, where I was a research student. Oh dear. Since 1974 it has been on my shelves only part read. It is a stunning argument he makes, not only of relevance to the misguided 'War on Drugs' but on the psychiatrisation of society.
'Controversial' hardly does justice to the sweep of his argument that drug users like mental patients are 'created', stigmatised and incarcerated unnecessarily just as witches were created, persecuted, imprisoned and tortured in past centuries.
This thinker of huge distinction has his ideas as ignored today in 2012 as they have been for forty years, despite being right and true, read and you will agree.
My generation of Psychedelic-Grandads are finally coming clean about our consciousness changing youth, look out for my own contribution "LSD - Blew Out Grandad's Windows"
Review: Ceremonial ChemistryUser Review - Goodreads
Probably the one of TS's books with which I am most sympathetic. I'm not a legalizer, but we should ask ourselves why traditional cultures were generally able to use MJ, coca leaves, entheogens, etc. in moderation, and we seemingly can't.