Why do people, countries, and centuries experience the same drug differently--and how should this affect the choices we make on drug control?
Matters of Substance presents a new and lucid approach to the much-debated questions of drug control around the world. Griffith Edwards argues for a consideration of all drugs--from caffeine to crack--as more than the sum of their chemical structure. He shows that the effect of a drug is just as dependent on the social setting, historical legacy, and psychology of an individual as it is on any inherent quality of the drug.
Attitudes about and control of drugs across the world are explored--from the use of marijuana in Amsterdam to cigarette smoking in the bars of New York. Various uses and abuses of drugs are examined within the web of ideas we hold about personal freedom, the right to pleasure, the responsibilites of government, and the impact of globalization. Authoritative and wide ranging, this book will inform and enlighten all future debates on drugs in society.