Criminal Justice-coas | Drugs in Society
P300 | 1454 | Whiteacre


This course will focus on one of the most highly debated and
emotionally charged issues of our time - drug use in the United
States.  In the American context, the use and abuse of chemical
substances have consistently appeared at the heart of cultural
practice and social response.  In short, Americans have always used a
lot of drugs and have created just as many policies tp prohibit,
regulate, or encourage this use.  This course is designed to explore
America's relationship with drugs and challenge common preconceptions
about drug use.
Our goal is to develop the critical skills necessary to imagine
alternatives for dealing with America's drug problem.'  We will
transcend the constraints of the traditional legalization/prohibition
debate.  The class will cover four broad themes: 1) definitions of
drugs and drug use/abuse, 2) political and emotional reactions to drug
use, 3) people's relationships with drugs, and 4) possibilities for
addressing the preceding concerns.
As a class, we will seek to develop a well-informed, critical
foundation from which to think about drug use in today's world.
Ultimately, we will try to find some common experiences which may
suggest ways to improve our relationship with drugs, ourselves, and
each other.  Thus, we must all work together to provide an open forum
from which we may begin to understand drug use in the United States.

Readings:
Required
ON DRUGS by David Lenson, University of Minnesota Press
THE AMERICAN DRUG SCENE edited by James Inciardi and Karen
McElrath, Roxbury Publishing Company
Optional
HASHISH by Robert Clarke, Red Eye Press

Course Requirements:
There will be six short quizzes (the lowest grade will be dropped)
over the readings and lectures worth 50 percent of the grade.  In
addition, you must complete a written research project which will
comprise the other 50 percent of the grade.

Class meeting:  Two 75 minute sessions each week.  (9:30-10:45A, TR,
OP 105.)

Instructor: Kevin Whiteacre, Department of Criminal Justice