From Mr Sin to Mr Big
A History of Australian Drug Laws
by Desmond Manderson
Oxford University Press, 1993[First Edition], ISBN 0195535316, black and white illustrated and photographic plates, paperback
Near Fine Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, ex-library stamps to title page and rear end-paper, library envelope attached to inside rear cover, catalogue sticker to spine, stamp to top for-edge (see photographs)
'From Mr Sin to Mr Big is a compelling legal and social history of the origins and development of drug laws in Australia. It argues that the selective enactment of 'drug' laws has been driven by fear, racism, powerful international pressured, and the vested interests of the medical profession, bureaucrats and politicians, rather than by genuine concerns about the welfare of users.
Behind the emotion and controversy that surround the use of illegal drugs lie previously un-examined assumptions about how and why certain substances - such as opium, heroin and cannabis - have been prohibited, while others - such as alcohol and tobacco - have not. This book challenges these assumptions, while also examining the power and efficacy of law as a means of achieving social change.
Desmond Manderson traces the legislative developments, from the anti-opium laws directed against the Chinese in the nineteenth century, to the complex web of our present drug laws, and illustrates the gradual politicisation of the drugs debate. From Mr Sin to Mr Big argues that Australia's current drug laws are a product of the past, and it is only by understanding this past that we can begin a rational debate about reform in the future."