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King, Peadar (2003) The politics of drugs: from production to consumption,. Dublin: Liffey Press .

Peadar King examines the factors that drive demand and consumption and concludes that both have much in common. He takes the perspective of the people on the ground working with drugs, on both the production and consumption side. In terms of production, the peasant farmers of countries such as Afghanistan, Bolivia and Colombia, who are forced by poverty into drug production, are the ones who suffer directly from the war on drugs. On the consumption side, the extent of drug use is at its most visible in Ireland in the devastation caused to users, families and communities by heroin, and the struggle is between the opposing approaches of "zero tolerance" and "harm reduction". Between production and consumption, a sinister and highly profitable industry has been built.

The book concludes that there are no easy answers. Irrespective of one's own response and ideology, there is general recognition that the centuries-old desire for psychoactive substances, whether as an act of desperation or celebration, will always remain part of the human condition and all the military might in the world will not change that.


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