The Common House 5 Pundersons Gardens, Unit 5E, E2 9QG

Drug policy, new and old — health ideals, the production of junkies and why old fashioned prohibition is still indispensable

Most would agree that some people will always take drugs, and some of them will lose control of their drug use. But in modern capitalist states there is more to drug use and to the ways the use of some drug is tolerated while the consumption of others is forbidden.

Why is there a drug regime aiming to control what people are doing to themselves by using “psychoactive” substances in the first place? Why do modern capitalist states keep up this “old fashioned” prohibition of drugs? Why are there new campaigns (e.g. propaganda for “resilient” drug-free lifestyles), and how do they fit with the old drug policies? What are the stereotypes of “junkies” and “drug dealers” about? How does propaganda about drug use relate to the extremely popular contemporary desire of “being in control of one's life” and “having a healthy body”?