Chapter 4 focuses on the impact of the technology of prohibition on the lives of female users. It examines how the war on drugs is a war on women. How drug policy discourses in the UK, US and Canada construct the problem to be governed including as harm to the individual female user, the community, children and foetuses is explored. The chapter then outlines the proposed solutions to the ‘problem’ of women’s drug use. Not all women are treated equally in the war on drugs and some are responsibilised more than others including black, poor and vulnerable women. Arguably, the war on drugs causes more harm to women than the drugs themselves. This idea is explored through research evidence on women in prison, the criminalisation of pregnancy and drug using women’s punishment and medicalisation as both offenders and victims of crime.
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