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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2010

Susan Boyd

Purpose – This chapter analyses the independent U.S. film Reefer Madness, a fictional full-length feature about marijuana use and selling that has grown in cult status…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter analyses the independent U.S. film Reefer Madness, a fictional full-length feature about marijuana use and selling that has grown in cult status since it was produced in 1936. In addition, this chapter discusses a number of examples of early and contemporary illegal drug films that focus on marijuana, including a short film scene from Broken Flowers (2005).

Methodology – Drawing from critical and feminist criminology, sociology, and cultural studies, this chapter provides an analysis of fictional illegal drug films with a focus on marijuana.

Findings – The significance of a century of film representations that reinforce a link between illegal drug use, immorality, and crime is discussed. It appears that these themes are quite enduring.

Value – It is worthwhile to analyze illegal drug films, not just to explore the stigmatization of users, but to examine the social/political effects of these films, particularly the ways that certain kinds of negative images support drug regulation and its attendant policing.

Details

Popular Culture, Crime and Social Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-733-2

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Benjamin Petruzelka

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the relationship between region-specific regulations of medications used in the manufacture of illegal drugs

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the relationship between region-specific regulations of medications used in the manufacture of illegal drugs and illegal drug markets.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines a case study of the relationship between the regulation of medications containing pseudoephedrine in Czechia and neighbouring countries and the illegal drug market for methamphetamine in Czechia between 2006 and 2018. The description of this case is based on a review of the literature and a review of publicly available data sources.

Findings

The tightening of the regulation of medications containing pseudoephedrine in the Czech Republic led, in the years under study, to a gradual decrease in the number of packages sold and simultaneously to the illegal import of such medications from neighbouring countries with less strict regulations. At the same time, shifts in the drug market could be observed: the internationalisation of previously primarily domestic supply chains, the increased involvement of Vietnamese organised crime groups, the emergence of large-scale methamphetamine labs and a shift in production to countries with less strict regulations. The subsequent application of stricter controls in neighbouring countries was accompanied by further shifts in supply chains and increased imports from non-European countries.

Practical implications

The tightening of regulations of medications within a single country or single region might lead to significant and undesirable changes in drug markets and supply chains.

Originality/value

This paper provides a novel case study of the development of region-specific regulations of medications and their influence on illegal drug markets and supply chains in the Czech Republic and in the European context.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Jeanette Covington

In this chapter, I examine how racial disparities in punishment for nonviolent drug crimes align with significant differences in how the black and white drug problems are…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, I examine how racial disparities in punishment for nonviolent drug crimes align with significant differences in how the black and white drug problems are constructed in media, law enforcement, and academia.

Methodology/approach

By examining differences in how the black and white drug problems have been constructed over the past 70 years for the opioids (heroin, prescription painkillers), cocaine (both powder and crack), and marijuana, I illustrate how these distinct representations of the black and white drug problems accompany more punitive policies in response to black drug epidemics even as white drug epidemics are typically met with tolerance or indifference.

Findings

Historically, powerful interest groups like media and law enforcement have benefitted from circulating myths and exaggerations about the illegal drug problem that encourage punitive drug policies. By contrast, at least some academics have benefitted from taking the opposite tack and debunking many of these myths. Unfortunately, academics have been less willing to challenge myths about the black drug problem than the white drug problem. Indeed, some academics actually reinforce many of the myths about the black drug problem promoted by media and law enforcement.

Originality/value

This chapter builds upon a substantial academic literature that challenges myths about illegal drug use by whites. However, it goes beyond this literature to consider the paucity of similar academic research exposing media and law enforcement myths about the black drug problem.

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 20 July 2017

Illegal drugs in South-east Asia.

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Jakob Demant, Silje Anderdal Bakken and Alexandra Hall

Internet use has changed the mechanics of drug dealing. Although this has spurred some initial academic interest in how markets and their users have been changing, the…

Abstract

Purpose

Internet use has changed the mechanics of drug dealing. Although this has spurred some initial academic interest in how markets and their users have been changing, the issue is still under-researched. The purpose of this paper is to understand how the organisation of the distribution of prescription drugs and other illegal drugs overlap in these online markets by analysing data gathered from observation of the Swedish Facebook drug market and its participants.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered during three months of digital ethnography conducted among Swedish Facebook posters supplemented by 25 interviews with sellers (20) and buyers (5). Screenshots and interview data were coded by carrying out an NVivo-based content analysis. The analysis is based on descriptive statistics of drug types, co-occurrence with other drugs, group size and the demographic characteristics of sellers. Additionally, the interviewees’ descriptions of the marketplace and their drug dealing or buying activities were included in the analysis.

Findings

In total, 57 Swedish Facebook groups that sold illegal substances were located. The groups rarely specialised in specific drug types, but were convened around demographic factors, such as specific cities and locales. The sales of prescription drugs were part of the overall activity of groups selling other illegal drugs, but they were more often sold in separate Facebook posts, possibly by specialist sellers. Swedish Facebook sales primarily concerned alprazolam, tramadol, pregabalin and clonazepam, and were sold by both professional and amateur sellers.

Originality/value

This study reports findings from a Nordic comparative study on social media drug dealing, representing the first in-depth study of digitally mediated prescription drug dealing outside of cryptomarkets.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Blaine Stothard

The purpose of this paper is to examine the content of the strategy and assess its claims to be evidence based.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the content of the strategy and assess its claims to be evidence based.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a close-reading of the text with commentary on specific content and reference to wider contexts.

Findings

The strategy makes use of evidence in its sections on treatment. Much evidence, including that of the UK ACMD, is dismissed or ignored. The issue of funding in times of austerity is not considered in the strategy. The range and complexity of drug use and users are not fully considered.

Research limitations/implications

The strategy can be seen as an idealised ambition with little basis in reality without funding to support its aims.

Social implications

There is no consideration of the impact of macro-economic policy on the extent of drug misuse.

Originality/value

Other commentaries on the strategy are emerging. This paper is a more extensive consideration than has so far appeared.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2021

Blaine Stothard

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the history of relevant legislation before and after the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the history of relevant legislation before and after the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).

Design/methodology/approach

A chronological narrative of laws and reports with concluding discussion.

Findings

That UK legislators have not made use of the evidence base available to them and have favoured enforcement rather than treatment approaches. That current UK practice has exacerbated not contain the use of and harms caused by illegal drugs.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not cover all relevant documents, especially those from non-governmental sources.

Practical implications

The practical implications centre on the failure of consecutive governments to reflect on and review the impact of current legislation, especially on people who use drugs.

Social implications

That the situations of people who use drugs are currently ignored by the government and those proven responses which save lives and reduce harm are rejected.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to show the historical contexts of control and dangerousness of which the MDA is one instrument.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Book part
Publication date: 22 May 2015

Michelle Davey, Gerard McElwee and Robert Smith

Building on previous work from Frith, McElwee, Smith, Somerville and Fairlie this chapter further explores entrepreneurship as practiced by an entrepreneur (who is also a…

Abstract

Purpose

Building on previous work from Frith, McElwee, Smith, Somerville and Fairlie this chapter further explores entrepreneurship as practiced by an entrepreneur (who is also a drug dealer) in a rural, UK, northern, small-town context and how he does ‘strategy’.

Methodology/approach

This research was conducted in a broadly grounded approach using a conversational research methodology (Feldman, 1999). A series of conversations were conducted with a career drug dealer, guided by a very basic agenda-setting question of ‘how do you earn money?’ Emergent themes were explored through further conversation before being compared with literature and triangulated with third party conversations.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for research design, ethics and the conduct of such research are identified and discussed. As a research project this work is protean and as a case study the generalisations that can be made from this piece are necessarily limited. Access to and ethical approval for research directly with illegal entrepreneurs is fraught with difficulty in the risk-averse environment of academia. This limits the data available directly from illegal entrepreneurs. The credibility of data collected from third parties is limited by their peripheral interest in and awareness of entrepreneurship discourse, entrepreneurial life themes and the entrepreneurial dimension to crime, as well as by the structural bias implicit in the fact that many of these third parties deal only with what might be termed the unsuccessful entrepreneurs (i.e., those that got caught!) Findings represent a tentative indication of potential themes for further research.

Details

Exploring Criminal and Illegal Enterprise: New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-551-8

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Book part
Publication date: 20 June 2017

David Shinar

Abstract

Details

Traffic Safety and Human Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-222-4

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Thomas Sorreda and Xavier Philippe

Illegal companies remain an underexplored research avenue. Indeed, although extant literature has already discussed organizational analysis of illicit businesses from a…

Abstract

Purpose

Illegal companies remain an underexplored research avenue. Indeed, although extant literature has already discussed organizational analysis of illicit businesses from a marketing or an entrepreneurial point of view, few papers have focused on it. The purpose of this study is to explore and uncover the bureaucratic aspects of this kind of structure. To do so, this study intends to demonstrate that even the most hidden organizations in a given society are shaped by common representations orienting them toward well-disseminated models.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethno-sociological study was conducted, thanks to a long non-participant immersion (over one year) by observing a drug-dealing organization in a French suburban area located near Paris.

Findings

This study illustrates that illicit organizations reproduce traditional organizational schemes that help them to ensure efficiency and sustainability. Indeed, they fit into modern bureaucratic models within which procedures remain highly normative and formal, but also within which interactions between members are both constrained by a regulative framework and, at the same time, enable a certain amount of autonomy and creativity at work.

Social implications

The business case in this study analyzes the implications of seeing illicit businesses as organizations like any others. The counterintuitive results show that these organizations set and normalize processes allowing the establishment of a formal hierarchy, and specific yet strict rules.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper comes from its unit of analysis and specific subject.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

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