Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers

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Syracuse University Press, 2003 - Political Science - 290 pages
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In this polemical response to the controversy about drug use and drug criminalization, Thomas Szasz suggests that governments have overstepped their bounds in labelling and prohibiting certain drugs as dangerous substances and incarcerating addicts in order to cure them.
  

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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 Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts and Pushers

User Review  - Jason Scoggins - 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. Read full review

Contents

1 The Discovery of Drug Addiction
3
2 The Scapegoat as Drug and the Drug as Scapegoat
19
The Faith of the Faithless
29
4 Communions Holy and Unholy
39
PHARMACOMYTHOLOGY MEDICINE AS MAGIC
59
Persecutions for Witchcraft and Drugcraft
61
The Model American Scapegoats
75
The Conversion Cure of Malcolm X
89
Panaceas and Panapathogens
137
The Moral Perspective Reconsidered
153
Authority versus Autonomy
175
AFTERWORD
183
A Synoptic History of the Promotion and Prohibition of Drugs
195
The War on Drugs 19742003
225
NOTES
253
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
273

From Soul Watching to Weight Watching
105
PHARMACRACY MEDICINE AS SOCIAL CONTROL
123
Holy Wars on Unholy Drugs
125

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About the author (2003)

Thomas Szasz is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

Bibliographic information