INFORMAL CONTROL AND ILLICIT DRUG TRADE
Antidrug legislation and enforcement are meant to reduce the trade in illegal drugs by increasing their price. Yet the unintended consequence is an increase in informal control—including retaliation, negotiation, avoidance, and toleration—among drug users and dealers. Little existing theory or research has explored the connections between informal control and drug trading. This article uses the rational choice and opportunity perspectives to explore the question: How and why does the frequency and seriousness of popular justice—as a whole or for each form—affect the price and rate of drug sales? The proposed theory is grounded on and illustrated with qualitative data obtained from drug dealers. This article concludes by discussing the scholarly and policy implications.
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