Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers
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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See page 26 for the roots of both the Hebrew and Christian prohibitions against drug use. Traced from ancient Greece, to the Inquisition, we find reference to the word "pharmakos." This passage will explain exactly, where the very roots of these prohibitions are. This material has been known to surprise those prone to making the standard, vaporous explanations as to "why." I read this book over 30 years ago.
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"
1 The Discovery of Drug Addiction
2 The Scapegoat as Drug and the Drug as Scapegoat
The Faith of the Faithless
4 Communions Holy and Unholy
PHARMACOMYTHOLOGY MEDICINE AS MAGIC
Persecutions for Witchcraft and Drugcraft
The Model American Scapegoats
The Conversion Cure of Malcolm X
Panaceas and Panapathogens
The Moral Perspective Reconsidered
Authority versus Autonomy
A Synoptic History of the Promotion and Prohibition of Drugs
The War on Drugs 19742003