Criminal Justice-COAS | Drugs in Society
P300 | 1430 | Kevin 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 America (and the rest of the world), 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 to
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
Reader prepared by instructor
Junky by William Burroughs
From Chocolate to Morphine by Andrew Weil and Winnifred Rosen

Recommended:
Hashish! by Robert Clarke, Red Eye Press
Opium, Empire and the global Economy by Carl Trocki

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: Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m., BH 304

Instructor: Kevin Whiteacre, criminal justice departmet