China’s Drug War, Part I: The Mekong Incident

On February 28, 2013, the People’s Republic of China executed the Myanmese (Burmese) drug trafficker, Naw Kham (Ch. Nuo Kang 糯康, Th. Jai Norkham), and three associates for the 2011 murder of thirteen Chinese boatmen.[1] What was notable about this particular capital case was the preceding live broadcast where cameras followed Naw Kham in his lastContinue reading “China’s Drug War, Part I: The Mekong Incident”

Of Mugshots and Meth or, the Horror of the REAL

In an attempt to garner publicity for its services, published an infographic entitled “The Horror of Methamphetamines.” It is, indeed, a horrifying spectacle, a “sobering depiction of REAL individuals who’ve fallen victim to the temptation of drug use.” We know what we are seeing is “REAL” because all the photos are mugshots. The dispassionContinue reading “Of Mugshots and Meth or, the Horror of the REAL”

Breaking Blog

Editor’s Note: We here at Points are happy to welcome back guest blogger Ross Aikins, a self-proclaimed sports-nerd, journalist, teacher, and postdoctoral fellow at the National Development and Research Institutes in New York City.  A recent PhD from UCLA’s School of Education, Ross blogs at Today, he provides us with a meditation on one of television’s great drug-relatedContinue reading “Breaking Blog”

Points Personnel: In Case You Were Wondering…

Inside Higher Ed yesterday carried a follow-up to the man-bites-dog story of Stephen Kinzey, a Cal State San Bernadino Professor of Kinesiology, who, in his spare time, led a motorcycle gang called the Devil’s Diciples [sic] and is wanted in connection with a methamphetamine ring that they operate in Southern California.  (The LA Times brokeContinue reading “Points Personnel: In Case You Were Wondering…”

The Points Interview: Nick Reding

One of the facts of life for a historian of drugs in the modern United States is that you’ll frequently be asked if you’ve read the latest best-seller on contemporary drug issues.  That was certainly the case when the subject of Points Interview number ten–Nick Reding’s Methland (Bloomsbury, 2009)–first appeared on the best-seller lists.  AContinue reading “The Points Interview: Nick Reding”

Meth and Moral Panics, Part Three

Meth and Moral Panics, Part One and Part Two led us to the question of whether and how we ought to arbitrate the real in assessing the ‘disproportionate response’ that moral panics require. In this post, we’ll look at efforts to do just this with respect to methamphetamine in the contemporary United States, and concludeContinue reading “Meth and Moral Panics, Part Three”

Meth and Moral Panics, Part One

Today, I’m posting the first in a short series on the concept of “moral panic” and its utility for those of us who write and think about the history of drugs and alcohol. I’ve been promising this series to co-managing editor Trysh Travis (and to my students) for some time, so I’m glad to getContinue reading “Meth and Moral Panics, Part One”

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