HOW THE USE OF MARIJUANA WAS CRIMINALIZED AND MEDICALIZED, 1906-2004: A Foucaultian History of Legislation in America

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Investigates the social construction of the processes of marijuana criminalization and marijuana medicalization. It is the first substantive study on the subject to include a detailed historical context in which to situate a new theoretical model for examining the contemporary U.S. drug policy debate.


“By fragmenting the reader’s preconceived biases, London encourages his audience to think in a new way about the old and stagnant debate. London brings into view the surfaces by which past and present statements occur; as conducive, hostile or inconsequential to the production and subsequent reproduction of statements associated with either deviant designation. . . . The newly proposed theoretical approach will guide researchers in their study of the 'epidemics of immorality' for years to come. Simply put, London has provided us with a groundbreaking analysis that will soon become a must read for all who are serious students of deviance designation change. Bravo, Professor London. By daring to tread off the beaten path, you have advanced our understanding of a critical issue of contemporary society. For that you must be honored and applauded.” – Prof. Robert M. Regoli, University of Colorado

“Beyond the case of marijuana, London’s theory and methods can be employed to enhance the ways in which social and behavioral scientists study a variety of deviant behaviors, labels, and social control issues. In general, this book will be helpful to students and scholars who are interested in a theoretically informed and methodologically rigorous example of how to historically analyze the regulation of citizens’ behaviors.” – Prof. Adina Nack, California Lutheran University

“London has found a strategic site for juxtaposing criminalization and medicalization. The end result is an account that challenges readers, no matter their orientation, to reconsider assumptions and conventional wisdom at both the ‘folk’ and ‘expert’ levels. The account provokes and invites critical thinking (and thus probably some criticism) and does so without making the read laborious. The points and arguments are clear. While I can quibble with some points (even reject a few), I now have a deeper understanding of the criminalization and medicalization of marijuana in the U.S.” – Prof. Lonn Lanza-Kaduce, University of Florida

“In this informative work Dr. London provides researchers interested in the study of deviance an invaluable tool in understanding the creation and furtherance of moral panics in society through this insightful examination into the phenomenon of deviance designation change.” – Prof. Jay Watterworth, Metropolitan State College of Denver

“. . . thorough, detailed, insightful, and thought- provoking. This book is an important source of information for anyone interested in social control, the social construction of deviance designations, and contemporary drug control policy.” – Prof. Karl R. Kunkel, Missouri State University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Robert M. Regoli
1. Introduction
Stages of Deviant Designation
Micro-level Analysis
Mid-range Analysis
Macro-level Analysis
Connecting Conrad and Schindler, Foucault and Currie
Kendall and Wickham’s Method
Overview of the Study
2. The Three Stages of Deviant Designation
Using Conrad and Schneider to Identify and Locate Deviant Designation Change
Building on Conrad and Schneider: Generalizing Medicalization Theory
Using Foucault to Clarify How a New Deviant Designation is Institutionalized
The Principle of Spatialization
The Minute Control of Activity
The Principle of Repetitive Exercise
Detailed Hierarchical Structures
Judgment Normalization
Using Currie to Account for the Overproduction of Deviant Designations
High Degree of Structured Interest: Apprehending and Processing
Newly Designated Deviants
Systematic Establishment of Extraordinary Powers for Suppressing Deviance
Concomitant Lack of Internal Restraints
Invulnerability to Restraint from Other Social Institutions
3. Kendall and Wickham’s Method
The Method’s First Cornerstone: Historical Analysis
Problematise History
Spot Contingencies (Not Causes)
Be Skeptical of All Political Arguments
Suspending Second-Order Judgments
The Method’s Second Cornerstone: Archaeological Analysis
Describing Statements in the Archive that Cover the Visible and “Sayable”
Regularities of Statements in Non-Interpretive Manner
Relations between One Statement and Other Statements
The Formulation of Rules for the Repeatability or Use of Statements
Positions Established Between Subjects
Surfaces of Emergence
Institutions that Acquire Authority and Provide Limits
Forms of Specification
The Method’s Third Cornerstone: Genealogical Analysis
A Genealogy Describes and Analyzes Disreputable Origins and Unpalatable Functions
A Genealogy Describes Power through the History of the Present
A Genealogy Describes and Makes Uncomfortable Existing Analyses
Statements as Motion Pictures or as an Ongoing Practice
The Web of Discourse
Problems of the Present while Emphasizing Power
The Method’s Fourth Cornerstone: Discursive Analysis
Identify the Rules of the Production of Statements
Recognize a Discourse as a Corpus (or Quantity) of Statements
Whose Organization is Regular and Systematic
Identify Rules that Delimit the “Sayable”
Identify Rules that Ensure that a Practice is Material and Discursive
Identify Rules that Create the Spaces where New Statements Can Be Made
4. Archaeology of Marijuana Criminalization
The Archaeology
First Core Legislative Event: The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906
Second Core Legislative Event: The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914
Third Core Legislative Event: The Uniform Narcotic Drug Act (1932)
Fourth Core Legislative Event: The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
Fifth Core Legislative Event: The Boggs Act of 1952
Sixth Core Legislative Event: The Narcotics Control Act of 1956
Seventh Core Legislative Event: The Controlled Substance Act of 1970
Eighth Core Legislative Event: Comprehensive Crime Control of 1984
Ninth Core Legislative Event: The Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986
Conclusions from the Archaeology of Marijuana Criminalization
5. A Genealogy of Marijuana Medicalization
Genealogy and the Process of Marijuana Medicalization
Medical Marijuana State Laws: The First Nine California in 1996
Washington, Oregon, and Alaska in 1998
Maine in l999
Hawaii, Nevada, and Colorado in 2000
Vermont in 2004
Analysis of State Laws: Medical Treatment as Social Control
Who Uses Medical Marijuana and Why “Legalizing” Medical Marijuana: Three High Profile Court Cases
United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative
Conant v. Walters
Raich v. Ashcroft
Summary Discussion of the Three High Profile Court Cases
The Nine Descriptions from the Genealogy
Describing the Web of Discourse
Describing Statements while Emphasizing Power
Describing the Problem of the Present
Describing Statements as an On-Going Practice
Describing Power through the History of the Present
Making Uncomfortable Existing Analyses
Describing and Analyzing Disreputable Origins
Describing and Analyzing Unpalatable Functions
Describing Statements as Motion Pictures
6. Conclusion
Linking Discourse and Consequence in Historical Context
The Method: Assessing Utility
Modifying, Utilizing, and Building Upon Medicalization Theory
The Moral and Legal Implications of Medicalizing Marijuana

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