Rainbow Vice: The Drugs and Sex Industries in the New South Africa

The new South Africa is in the grip of unanticipated social changes. Rainbow Vice depicts the fast growing drug culture, tightly linked to the world of commercial sex and in conflict with a profoundly Christian population. Punchy in style and based on several hundred interviews the author show how multifarious, across the different ethnic groups, the drug scene is. He pays special attention to South Africa`s very own (and widespread) indigenous dagga (cannabis) and the much newer Mandrax (or buttons ). He explains precisely what is known of the drugs and examines the South African government`s inherited policy of blanket prohibition of all vice. The links are made between prohibition, its impact on rural growers of dagga, the underpaid and corrupt police force and the spread of HIV-AIDS. He also makes clear South Africa`s growing integration into the international drug trade as entrepot, exporter and import market. The author, an American, has had a long experience of the drug problem both as a social worker and from his time as a law enforcement officer in the United States. His principal concern in this book, given that prohibition is not working, is to think through a sophisticated and differentiated set of alternative strategies around decriminalization, legalization and other measures.