An Analysis Of Drug Dealing Criminology Essay

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A drug is a substance that influences 'biological processes' is too inclusive. Broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage. Definition may be more or less useful according to a specific setting or context. For drugs three such contexts come to mind: medical utility, psycho activity and illegality.

The medical utility definition regards a drug as a substance that is used by physicians to treat the body or mind .Obviously, the medical definition contains both an objective and a subjective element. In order for a drug to be used medically, we assume that it does something to the body that is, it acts as a healing agent. This is its objective reality. But in addition a drug has to be recognized as therapeutically useful by physicians, which may not take place even if it works as a therapeutic agent. Controversy may exist with respect to whether some drugs are medically useful. For instance as of this writing, marijuana is recognized and legitimated as medicine in 10 states but not the other 40 and it is not so recognized by the federal government , heroin can be used as a painkiller in the United kingdom but not in the United states. This is the subjectively or socially constructed side of the medical definition of how drugs are defined. For explaining drug dealing I am using three different theories which we have discussed in the course term one. Three theories are 1) The classical school, 2) The Chicago school and 3) subcultures.

The classical school:

The central themes of the Classical school are not really part of Criminology. The classical school was largely inspired by the notion that society was governed by a social contract. This emphasised the importance of free will so that criminal behaviour was the result of a rational choice. Society had the rights to punish offenders and it was considered that doing so would have a different effect. In the eighteenth century so called classical thinking emerged largely in response to the arbitrary and cruel forms of punishment that continued to dominate. Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham two of the most important enlightenment thinkers in this area through coming from very different philosophical position. Both sought to limit the barbarity of eighteenth century system of justice. Beccaria's general theorem is that "a punishment may not be an act of violence of one or of many against a private member of society, it should be public immediate and necessary the least possible in the case given proportionate to the crime and determined by the laws" [1] . Successful deterrence in Beccarie's view "first of all required punishment to be certain. The more likely one is to be punished for one's action, the less likely one is to engage in deviant behaviour. The law must be clear and must be enforced consistently. Second, the swiftness of the punishment also has a positive impact on the violation of rules .Third, the severity of the punishment must be significant enough to deter further misconduct but no more severe than is necessary to bring about the effect" [2] . Although the drug is used for some purposes benefit to the society like as medical purpose but the misuse pf drug can be traced in the human society from earlier. It has a great destructive effect on the society particularly on the young society as they are the most vulnerable victims of so called drug dealing. The impact of drug dealings plays a very dominant rule on the society as the abuse of misuse of drug is capable of affecting the route on the society. The increasing impact of misuse of drug can be found in different society and in different part of the world. So drug dealing is widely recognised as an offence under different jurisdiction in the world.

We should have paid more concern relating to the matter of that, how can we deal with this problem of misuse of drug. On the one hand we must ensure that proper punishment of the offenders, where as this is also important to ensure all basic rights of the offender as per direction of classical school and other theories. An offender must not be punished for others act. The law relating drug dealing must be clear and must be enforce consistently .However we need to keep it in our mind that our purpose not to punish and punish against the offenders. But put an impact of this punishment on the society that's why the people can understand easily what would happen if they commit any crime. According to the Beccaria: the end of punishment therefore is no others than to prevent the criminal from doing further injury to society and to prevent others from committing the like offence. Such punishments therefore and such a mode of inflicting them ought to be chosen as will make the strongest and most lasting impression on the minds of others with the least torment to the body of the criminal.

British philosopher Jeremy Bentham adopted some of the ideas from the classical approach to punishment. He regarded our own system of punishment s as illogical and called for the introduction of a more precise and wholly enforced criminal code of 1792.Benthams theory is that human behaviour is generally directed at maximising pleasure and avoiding pain. Individuals broke the law, he felt in order to gain excitement, money, sex or something else that was valued. There were some difference s between Beccaria and Bentham. Both rejected the death penalty, through Bentham argued that it could be used in cases of murder arguing that in almost all cases its negative consequence outweighed any positive ones that might ensue. Bentham was a firm believer in the efficacy of the prison. According to Bentham the social action should be guided by the objective of ensuring the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Since misuse of drug is destructive of the whole society, so this is a criminal offence and not merely an offence against morality. This why the punishment of drug dealer must be ensured in such a manner which can be cited as a good example for society . A gain as like as Beccaria punishment are viewed by Bentham as essentially negative and they, therefore, must be restricted so as only to produce desired outcome. The punishment should be proportionate o the crime committed and must not be exceeding the limit to the crime committed.

The Chicago school:

In the 1930s a branch of urban sociology often referred to as the Chicago school of human ecology opened up a new approach to explaining crime. This school grew from the ideas of Robert park, who suggested there were parallels between communities of human and those of plants and animals. Park adopted some of his central concepts from biology .Chicago university has a special place in the history of criminology. Chicago was America's second largest city and it was undergoing rapid and significant change. Half of the population of Chicago in 1900 has been born outside the USA.A city compromised several natural areas with characteristics blended from their ethnic composition, socio economic make up and physical surrounding. Patterns of change in the city paralleled changes in balance of nature. They were influenced by economic competition for space and the urban environment was affected by a process of invasion, dominance and succession. Park viewed the human population in American cities as being migratory rather than fixed. Two members of the Chicago Shaw and Henry Mckay developed the ecological model using it as the basis for a wide ranging study of juvenile delinquency in Chicago and other American cities. For Chicago they divided the city into 140 areas of one square mile each and mapped the residences of recorded delinquents. They also divided Chicago into concentric zones and calculated the percentage of the juvenile population resident in the areas and zones. Shaw and Mckay suggested that community problems were concentrated close to the centre of the city's centre core and rates declined radically. The highest rates occurred in areas where buildings were in decay where economic status was lowest and where there were greater concentrations of recently arrived families similar results were found in American.

Chicago law school represent one of the most dynamic theory of modern criminology. The finding the shaw and Mckey subjected that community problems were concentrated close to the centre of the city. The highest rate of diligence residence was found close to the city canter core and rules declined residence. According to shaw and Mckey the socio economic condition place a dominant rule behind any kind of offence. However the authenticity of this statement can also be found at a close look in the shaws and Mckeys theory . The tendency to commit any drug related offence is higher in poor and urban society than residential area. A s we know over 80% of total production of opium is being produce in Afghanistan where the socio economic condition is so poor. They are suffering from hunger and poverty which produce a fertile land for growing opium. A close attention may also reveal that potential customer of illegal drugs is much higher in the cities and the urban area rather than in residential area. The authenticity of this argument is proven by Shaw and Mckeys theory. Chicago law school theory also confirmed the process of invention dominance, succession is said to lead to break down of social equilibrium.


The sub cultural explanation offered by Cloward and Ohlin extends part of Merton's theory and also incorporates some aspect of cultural transmission . Cloward and Ohlin considered that many young boys would suffer from problems of adjustment and frustrated ambition. Some would look for deviant solution .Cloward and Ohlin added a new perspective to strain theory by suggesting that access to illegitimate opportunities was unevenly distributed. As a result the types of delinquency and of associated subcultures in which those youth participated would be largely determined by the opportunities presented in the communities where they lived. Cloward and Ohlin said there were three types of delinquent subculture. Firstly, the criminal subculture: This would be found in working class areas where there was already a developed structure of illegitimate opportunities. It was mainly concerned with theft for profit. Secondly, the conflict subculture: This would develop in areas which lacked legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures and which were socially disorganised. Delinquent activities would resolve around gang fights. Thirdly the retreatist or double failure subculture: This subculture would be adopted by youths, looking for a deviant solution who did not become involved in one of the other subcultures because of internalised inhibitions or because they tried to do so but failed. Activities were mostly concerned with the use of drugs. An important point about Cloward and Ohlin's theory is that for them a delinquent group was one which had delinquency as a central activity. Toby suggest that if they were right gang delinquency would account for less than a tenth of juvenile prosecutions in America.

Now if someone asks a question that is, who is the major victim of so called drugs dealing? Obviously the answer is young people of the society. It has already made clear by cloward and ohlin theory, whereby it was stated that the young boys would suffer from problems of adjustment and frustrated ambition. And as a result they could be influenced to take drugs. The cloward and ohlin added a new perspective to strain theory by suggesting that access to illegitimate opportunities was unevenly distributed. As a result the types of delinquency and of associated subcultures in which those youth participated would be a largely determined by the opportunities presented in the communities where they lived. So this frustration about life would lead the young people to commit any crime including drug related crime and misuse of drug. It has been found in the long running Gang history in America whereby a large number of youth involved of taking illegal drugs and misuse of drugs.

Drug use can be a problem to the society in two ways : objectively and subjectively .The objective or essentialist perspective defines social problems by the harm that certain condition inflict on the society death , disease, economic cost , a reduction in productivity and so on. The subjective or constructionist perspective defines social problems by the concern certain condition cause and the steps society takes to deal with them. Thus drug use the consumption of alcohol and tobacco included, are problems to society because they harm their users and the rest of us as well .And drug use is also a problem to society because many people fear and are concerned about the consumption of psychoactive substances and try to do something about reducing its extent, through legislation, law enforcement, treatment, media representations, prevention and education.

"The drug control system of the League of Nations was inherited by the United Nations (UN).  The World Health Organization (WHO) participation is based on a statutory responsibility for evaluating drugs for control.  UN drug control organizations underwent a variety of iterations as new pharmaceutical drugs came to market and natural drugs came under international drug control.  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is currently the lead UN drug control organization.  UNODC has approximately 350 staff members worldwide" [3] .

"Licensing and regulating the drugs trade would require international agreement to work effectively, with purchase of drugs at source from producers in developing countries. The Uk could go it alone and licence domestic cultivation and supply ,although there will always be a demand for higher quality cannabis resins (e.g. Moroccan Pollen, Charas , Nepalese, Minali etc), although this could partially be supplied by ( potentially very high potency) resins produced from domestic plants" [4] . The financial effects of legislation and regulation of the drugs trade would have benefits in excise duty VAT, general economic growth and expenditure savings, with modest additional expenditure required to establish a regulatory authority and give the regulator effective teeth to tackle abuse of the system.


1. Newburn, T (2009), Key reading s in Criminology, Culmcott , William.

2. Maguire, Morgan & Reiner, M, R & R (2002),The oxford handbook of Criminology, Cornwall, Oxford.

3. Goode, E (2005), Drugs in American Society, New York, The McGraw-Hill Companies.

4. Gossop, M (1996), Living with Drugs, England, Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

5. Illegal Drug Trade,, 03-02-10.

6.Matthew J Atha BSc MSc LL.B, Taxing the UK Drugs Market , ,03-02-10.

7.Drug policy around the World,, 02-02-10.