Hello and happy new year to all our beloved readers! We want to welcome 2019 in a new and special way.
As you probably know, the writers and contributing editors of Points are real live people, who can often be found doing exciting work in the world far beyond this website. We thought we’d start off the new year by letting you know all the places where you can catch Points writers speaking, lecturing and presenting their research over the next few months. Below is a list of where you can find us during the first half of 2019. Many of these things are based in the U.S., and most are on the east coast. But hopefully we’ll keep expanding our reach, and you can find us more nationally and internationally in the second half of the year!
If you have events you’d like us to feature related to drug…
Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Dr. Annemarie McAllister, Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Central Lancashire, and Pam Lock, a doctoral candidate and the GW4 Developing People Officer at the University of Bristol. They organized a conference on alcohol called Radical Temperance: Social Change and Drink, from Teetotalism to Dry January, held at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England, from June 28-29, 2018. This is their general report, with more posts to come over the next few weeks. Enjoy!
The signing of the teetotal pledge on 1 September 1832 in Preston by a group of seven men, including the social reformer Joseph Livesey, was a pivotal moment in the history of the temperance movement in Britain. Preston was thus an obvious home for the first-ever conference to bring together historians, social scientists, and third sector groups concerned about support for alcohol-free lifestyles…
Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Dr. Jill McCorkel, associate professor of sociology ad criminology at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. In it, she explores the origins of how drug treatment and rehabilitation programs entered private prisons for women. Her full article appears in a special co-produced edition of SHAD and CDP, Special Issue: Gender and Critical Drug Studies. Enjoy!
Dr. Jill McCorkel
I was recently in a taxi on my way to a speaking engagement in Dublin, Ireland. When the driver asked me what I’d be discussing, I told him I research prison privatization. “Ahh, yes,” he said, “the corporations run the American prisons and that’s why you have such a problem over there. They want everyone in prison. More prisoners, more profit!”
Although legal scholars would likely challenge his claim on the grounds that comparatively few prisoners in the U.S. are held in private prisons, his comments are not entirely off…
Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in our new Hidden Figures of Drug History series, with more to come in the future. Next week Points will feature more exciting news about drug and alcohol history in the media, as well as a great recap of LSD use in New York City in the 1960s. Enjoy this post and come back next week for more!
There are few subjects I like writing about more than the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse’s 1972 report, “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.” Also known as the Shafer Commission, the group’s report enlivened my book Grass Roots, and I’ve continued to mine it for material on how we can understand the Trump administration’s response to the opioid overdose epidemic today.
But there’s something of particular interest for those who want to understand the role gender has long played in American…
So, on the anniversary of the tackle and an injury that sent my life in new directions, here are a few thoughts about recovery.
Sorting out the injury
Rehab was the first order of the day. I visited the Glasgow Royal infirmary on a regular basis. This involved squats and dips and stretching and rubber tubes.
Yes, the NHS is understaffed and overworked, but the physios were tremendous!
I also had to get the extent of the damage straightened out. The doctors (and I) needed to go deep. Cue the futuristic MRI.
Once I received the letter, a weight was lifted. I was getting to the bottom of the injury.
So, I prepped myself. I was not pregnant. Check. I filled in the questionnaire. Check.
I left my family at home. And got psyched. As a “citizen in need of medical attention,” I felt like I was visiting the Elysium cure-all machine:
I went to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for the test and took some pictures along the way.
After I was stuck in the deafening machine for 35 minutes on a Sunday morning, it was determined NO SURGERY was required. No need to go under the knife.
As you’d expect, the injury caused a massive disruption in my existence. Yes, my whole freaking existence. Both my personal and professional life was affected.
For starters, I became more familiar with ‘pain.’ Regular, recurring pain. Others, I’m sure, deal with higher levels of pain all the time – and have done so for years. It was new for me, though. It didn’t go away. It stuck with me, niggling. Persistent. I realized that I’d have to be stubbornly optimistic, too.
On a personal level, the pain and physical restrictions impacted how much I could horse around with my kids. That sucked. I occasionally fretted about the long-term damage to my knee and whether I’d make a full recovery. There was anxiety, in other words.
On a professional level, the disruption wasn’t terrible. It helps that I’m a writer and teacher and don’t have to be on my feet all day. Were this not the case, I might have considered worker’s compensation. I had to cancel on a few people and events, which was regrettable. On the positive side, if I can call it that, the ever-present pain in my life pushed me to think about types of pain, the use of drugs to dull the pain, and the future of my own research.
After I got my knee sorted out with the MRI and determined there was no need for surgery, I could start focusing on targets. But what kind of goals did I have?
I settled on (again) some personal and professional goals.
On the personal side, I wanted to make up for the lost playtime with my kids. So lots and lots of horsing around in the back garden!
I decided that I’d focus on some running. I’m closing in on 40 and thought it’d be cool to try and run a 10 kilometer race in around 40 mins. A 40 in 40? Or 40 at 40? Something like that. I’ve kicked off the training. Stay tuned!
Professionally, I sought to build ‘pain’ into my research agenda. I couldn’t ignore it over the past year, so I channeled it. I talked about it more than I have in years past. And I wrote about it far more, as well.
Editor’s Note: You can see Lucia Romero discuss her work on grassroots mobilization for access to medical cannabis in Argentina below. This builds on her post, published Tuesday, and wraps up our content from the excellent Cannabis: Global Histories conference. All videos were produced by Morgan Scott of Breathe Images. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: This is the last post in our series from the Cannabis: Global Histories conference, held at the University of Strathclyde from April 19-20, 2018. It comes from Lucia Romero, an assistant researcher at CONICET (Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council). In it, she explores the grassroots groups that overcame decades of prohibition to increase access to medical marijuana in Argentina. Enjoy!
This paper discusses the rise of therapeutic cannabis use in Argentina. Through documentary work and personal interviews, our sociological approach focuses on how users (patients, growers) and experts (scientists, doctors, lawyers) produce and exchange different types of knowledge related to this medicine.
Our starting point was the recent medicinal cannabis law sanctioned in Argentina. Although cannabis has been socially signified as a drug and ruled illegal in the country for decades, over the course of two years, we have seen an accelerated process of…