SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.60 issue225Property Tax Collection in Mexico: An Analysis of their Economic Determinants in the Period 1969-2010 author indexsubject indexsearch form
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Revista mexicana de ciencias políticas y sociales

Print version ISSN 0185-1918


LUNA-FABRITIUS, Adriana. Modernity and Drugs from an Historical Perspective. Rev. mex. cienc. polít. soc [online]. 2015, vol.60, n.225, pp.21-44. ISSN 0185-1918.

Many of the drugs that are currently considered as illegal were crucial for the consolidation of late 18th and early 19th century colonial elites, and were also part of a chameleonic modernity process. This text recreates the link between modernity and the use of stimulating substances, showing how this relationship was explored by 19th century sociologists, according to which it triggered the crisis of modernity as it brought to an end the self-government capacities of the kantian individual. The author analyzes how the criminalization process of these substances has responded to phenomena rather unrelated with public health policies, and claims that the prohibition of its commercialization and use is linked to other type of social facts. Some aspects of the establishment of the global market and the use of psychoactive substances in Europe and the United States are analyzed, showing how these products contributed to the consolidation of colonial elites, by means of drugs commercialization and the purchase and sale of slaves. Finally, the author advances a new approach to discuss modernity and the use of psychoactive substances, thus discarding the 19th century approach that has hindered a debate on this issue.

Keywords : psychoactive substances; criminalization; illegal substances; cannabis; modernity; colonialism; capitalism.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )