cover, High Society: abstract squares dissolve into a troubled man's face




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"...fascinating information about where drugs - and drug laws - come from, and a colourful cast of characters who speak in the first person about selling and using drugs...Boyd has given us a great read and brought us a little closer to the day when our society finally finds a little common sense on the subject of drugs."

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High Society

Legal and Illegal Drugs in Canada

The war against certain drugs in Canada has very little to do with public health: it is a moral battle against the use of socially unacceptable substances. So argues Neil Boyd in High Society, a provocative examination of why people take drugs, who takes them, and what is deemed acceptable or unacceptable by society and why.

Through first-hand interviews and wide-ranging research, the book takes readers into the world of drugs – the dealers in prison, the police who enforce the law and the manufacturers who create drug products. Boyd argues that drug use and abuse are influenced by cultural, economic and political agendas. While tobacco, alcohol and medications are considered legitimate drugs in affluent Western culture, heroin, cocaine and marijuana are not. Yet these legitimate substances may in the long term have a more damaging effect on your health if they are abused.

High Society is a carefully considered look at legitimate and illegitimate substances. It asks probing questions about the assumptions society makes and argues for an enlightened approach to the control of drugs in Canada.

"In this excellent analysis of society's "drug problem," Professor Boyd portrays the enormous harm wreaked by the distribution and promotion of our society's legal drugs of choice. This book will also shake the complacent who think the "war on drugs" is being won, or that the tremendous individual, social and economic costs of prohibition are justified...It deserves careful attention by policy-makers looking to chart a sane course out of the current morass of contradictory drug policies."

Patricia G. Erickson, Ph.D., Addiction Research Foundation

Key Porter Books, 1991
ISBN 1-55013-288-1