The below article which can be found in full at the listed URL may be of
interest. It argues that semi-legal potshops are actually a necessary part of
the continuation of the War on Drugs. This war is both a civil and
international war being fought not as ideology but with real military
and real guns.
Veen, Hans T. van der (1999), The international drug complex. Amsterdam:
Centre for Drug Research, Universiteit van Amsterdam. Revised in August 2000.
The drug war - as a core element in the expansion and institutionalization of
new coercive state powers - expands the scope of the policing power of states
from the domestic to the international domain. To some extent, this tendency
reflects a burgeoning of domestic and transnational criminal and criminalised
activity. But the relation between crime and repression is, as I will argue,
a much more dramatic one, where one often breeds the other, and where the
activities of criminals become increasingly difficult to distinguish from
those of their counterparts on the other side of the law.
The 'War on Drugs' is becoming one of the main legitimization venues for
states to enhance their capacity to intervene, both in the national and in
the international domain.
Since the end of the Cold War, the 'New World Order', established under
conditions of increased globalization and underwritten by neo-liberal
reforms, is to a large extent shaped by two forces: the visible hand of
criminal forms of market control and the extension of the strong arm of the
law in the national and international domain.
These two forces of repression and subversion increasingly show the tendency
to squeeze the populations of entire societies into a spiraling anarchy,
endangering the constitutional state, and the living conditions of its
citizens. Both sides of the law, although formally opposed to each other, in
fact enhance each other's growth and therewith their impact on the rest of
society. In their mutual (systemic) interactions they permeate societies with
a logic reminiscent of the way in which, during the Cold War, the two
antagonistic superpowers and their military-industrial complexes on the one
hand fostered the control over their spheres of influence, and on the other
hand incapacitated their populations to counter the pressures of vested
interests in a spiraling arms race that enhanced the income, prestige and
power of military establishments and the profits of weapons industries that
fed the threat of war.
The two worlds of criminal entrepreneurs and of the coercive agencies of
states are however not separated by geographical boundaries, nor are they
separated from the societies in which they function. As both increasingly
attain transnational dimensions they become more disposed to prevent
themselves from being incorporated into society and, thereby, from being
subordinated to democratic control. At the same time they increase their
powers to penetrate in the sovereignty of individuals and that of entire
societies over the globe.
On Friday 03 May 2002 06:56, you wrote:
> This year, in the heart of historic Edinburgh, capital city
> of Scotland, we're gonna be opening the doors to our all-new
> Dutch-style cannabis coffeeshop. This revolutionary new
> cultural café intends to challenge the current cannabis laws
> and provide a safe, stimulating and pleasant environment for
> lovers of freedom to gather, chat, plot and plan, listen to
> nice sounds, and, of course, smoke your favourite herb.