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
Reader prepared by instructor
Junky by William Burroughs
From Chocolate to Morphine by Andrew Weil and Winnifred
Hashish! by Robert Clarke, Red Eye Press
Opium, Empire and the global Economy by Carl
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