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

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Syracuse University Press, 2003 - Political Science - 290 pages
3 Reviews
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. 

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

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As usual for Szasz, his book takes a very expansive look at the topic at hand--in this case, drug use and policy. He brings us in conclusion to a fundamental question: Are we ourselves merely the ... 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.

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