Drug Laws (Great American Court Cases)
Drugs: A Simple Definition
The term "drugs" is an extraordinarily broad one, which can encompass such a great variety of items that the meaning of the word almost becomes lost. Even Webster's Dictionary offers a variety of definitions which distinguish between (usually legal) medications intended to treat a specific physiological or psychological problem and (usually illegal) substances which are used recreationally, and whose use may lead to addiction.
A simple, all-encompassing definition of a drug would be "a substance containing chemicals which result in a specific physical or psychological reaction or reactions." This, at least, is as much true of penicillin, a drug which has saved millions of lives, as it is of cocaine drug which, especially in the latter part of the twentieth century, has claimed a death toll in the hundreds of thousands if not the millions.
Drugs, Culture, and Death
Of course, it is worth noting in this context that the body count created by cocaine is at least partially composed of persons who die as a result of illegally trafficking of the substance. There are the drug lords, the pushers, and the dealers, who enter into ultimately fatal encounters with each other or with law enforcement officers; and there are the law enforcement personnel themselves who die in shootouts with...
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