The Interdependency of Narcotics Trafficking and the Global Market System

In the United States, as in any other capitalist market across the global market system, narcotics trafficking, and its expansive capitalist dynamics have become determinant engines of local economic development.  Since the Corsica mafia operations of the early 1900s, narcotics trafficking’s informal capitalist structures have been instrumental in the expansion of urban development, business development, infrastructure development, and the overall modernization of the capitalist world.  Since then, its “illegal” capital has been a key component of the economic development of nations across the world, and today it is the backbone of the globalization of the market.

Read more

How a Policy of Abstinence Shaped Irish Drug Health Information Material in the 1980s And 1990s

Festival Season is upon us, and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland recently launched a new drug campaign targeted at festival-goers. The design and imagery of the Reduce the Harms at Festivals campaign takes a playful approach. Borrowing heavily from 1970s animation, the campaign features images of anthropomorphized objects and colourful cartoons; a smiling first aid kit high-fives a heart in platform shoes patched up with a plaster (‘Medics are your Mates’); a snail in festival style staples – bum bag and bucket hat (‘Start Low and Go Slow’).

Read more

If only the Propaganda Machine had Paid Attention to the Humanitarian Crisis Emanating from the War on Drugs

The violent impact of the American War on Drugs has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Colombians and the displacement of millions more that have either inundated the urban centers of the country or simply left the Colombia.  Nevertheless, the Western propaganda machine decided, close to fifty years ago, to ignore the humanitarian atrocity and the systemic violation of human rights of Colombians carried out by American foreign policy, opting instead to focus on the magical realism-like stories of Colombian capos and the Hollywood-like stories of “good guys vs. bad guys.”  Now, watching the coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, it is irritating to see how Western media is capable and powerful enough to socially construct one particular narrative for Ukraine and another one for Colombia, denying the agency to the victims of the atrocities generated by Western, and more particularly, US drug policy.

Read more

Disparities & Inequalities in Ending the HIV Epidemic: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Editor’s Note: This post by Maeleigh Tidd is the second in our Pharmaceutical Inequalities series. She explores the recent Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative in the US, with a particular focus on prevention strategies, specifically PrEP, that are being implemented to assist in ending the epidemic. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.

Read more

A Tale of Two Clauses: Due Process in Racialized Reproductive Freedom

For Women’s History Month, I’m so pleased to celebrate three women who have each, through their original work, taught me important lessons about the history of drug control. This second post in my series on Drugs, Women, and Families summarizes an exceptional research paper written by Lydia Wendel during my seminar in drug law last year. She identified two very different constitutional and legislative histories that defined reproductive freedom: one path for white women and another path for all other, or BIPOC, women. The U.S. Constitution’s “due process of law” clause appears twice, commanding both federal and state governments to provide it to all citizens. Wendel’s remarkable insight into how these words have worked to protect the rights of some women while forsaking others gave me a deeper understanding of this difficult and vital aspect of constitutional law. She arrives at a chilling conclusion: that these two constitutional paths are now converging to the detriment of overall reproductive freedom for all women in the United States.

Read more

Points New Year’s Eve Resolutions

Everyone here at Points wishes you a very happy new year and the best in 2020. This is a particularly intriguing holiday for drug and alcohol historians, since it’s by far the holiday that most heartily celebrates intoxication. We’ll be discussing that more in a bit, but today we want to focus on positive changes …

Read more

Holiday Break: See you next week!

Points will be taking this week off to celebrate the Christmas holiday, but join us on Tuesday, 12/31, for a final wrap-up post for 2019 and a discussion of what New Year’s Eve means for drug and alcohol historians. And, of course, we’ll continue to bring the history in 2020 and beyond. Happy holidays to …

Read more

Fiction Points: Amy Long

  Amy Long is the author of Codependence: Essays (Cleveland State University Poetry Center 2019) and a founding member of the Points editorial board. She has worked for drug policy reform and free speech advocacy groups in California, D.C., and New York; as a bookseller at Bookpeople in Austin, TX; and as an English instructor at Virginia Tech …

Read more