Saturday, December 5, 2009
This paper investigates American drug criminal law, or rather the American drug penal regime, from the perspectives of two fundamental modes of governance, police and law. In particular, it inquires into the possibility of drug criminal law as law, rather than as a police action designed to identify and eliminate threats to public welfare. The topic of this paper thus is not “the legalization of drugs,” whatever that might mean, but the legalization of the drug penal regime. It is concerned with the possibility of legitimate state action that brings the law power of the state in general, and its penal law power in particular, to bear on persons on account of their interaction, relationship, or association with drugs.