Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Subhash Sonnad

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis Simpson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study is a sociological analysis of anti-drug legislation during the last one hundred years within the United States. Anti-drug legislation is explored with regard to specific substances, as well as in general, and compared to anti-drug legislation of today. The conflict perspective was employed as an aid in understanding the occurrence of such phenomena as anti-drug legislation and drug wars. It becomes apparent that social problems or deviance, related to drug use, are more than simply a matter of someone transgressing. The laws are created in an effort to perpetuate the existence of groups with access to power and resources over groups without such access. This serves several functions, but primarily, it is a reaction to fear of a group that threatens the existing status quo. This has been evident throughout history and is no different today.