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Sin City NorthSex, Drugs, and Citizenship in the Detroit-Windsor Borderland$
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Holly M. Karibo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625201

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625201.001.0001

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Prohibition, Enforcement, and Border Politics

Prohibition, Enforcement, and Border Politics

Debating Vice at the National Level

(p.121) 5 Prohibition, Enforcement, and Border Politics
Sin City North

Holly M. Karibo

University of North Carolina Press

Local anti-vice efforts were also shaped in important ways by broader national debates. This chapter examines how the problem of cross-border vice along the nations’ borders was framed by the media, lawmakers, and government officials working at the federal level. By examining senate committee investigations that took place in Canada and the US in 1955, this chapter argues that federal officials were united by a similar belief in a prohibitionist ideology, one that emphasized the need to enforce a clear line between acceptable and unacceptable drug use through legal means. Within this prohibitionist framework, federal officials perpetuated racial stereotypes that linked cross-border smuggling with Chinese Communists, Mexican migrants, and European traffickers. While officials along the US-Canada border attempted to portray a united front in their efforts to eliminate trafficking, blaming the drug problem on outsiders often undermined their ability to maintain congenial diplomatic relations. The focus on drug prohibition along the border, then, also came to embody some of the diplomatic tensions that were developing between the US and Canada in the postwar year, tensions that would ultimately affect anti-vice efforts in cities closest to the nations’ borders.

Keywords:   Smuggling, Heroin, Diplomacy, Senate Committee, Communism, Organized Crime

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