Drug addiction and the illegal drug trade are recognized today as major international problems. Efforts to control trafficking and coordinate enforcement policy have until now met with only limited success. Although world opinion, led by the United States, has generally favored hard-line measures, some countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, strenuously resist them, while others, primarily poor Asian and South American countries, remain economically dependent on the demand for illicit drugs. Drugs, Law, and the State focuses on the conflicting cultural values and historical traditions that continue to thwart combined attempts among nations to impeded the flow of drugs.This volume is built around the idea that drug control policy largely reflects the society in which it is found. The authors analyze contrasting national policies through theories that emphasize the role of ideology, legitimacy, and history. This cultural orientation opens up new areas of research not often addressed by conventional criminology. Instead of asking why some people use illegal drugs while others do not, several chapters ask why and in what societies drug use is defined as a crime.Drugs, Law, and the State is composed of three sections. The first, 'Drug Control Policy and the State,' uses the examples of Denmark, Spain, and Finland to analyze drug control policy in relation to the state as a defined interest group. Part Two, 'The Political Economy of Drugs,' considers the political-economic nexus of the drug trade primarily in Asia, and surveys the role of organized crime from an international perspective. The concluding section, 'Future Directions,' examines the current status of drug control policy in the United States and provides a set of alternative proposals in the direction of decriminalization. Drugs, Law, and the State offers original thinking and practical approaches to a multidimensional world problem. It will be of interest to policymakers, political scientists, sociologists, and law enforcement officials.