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In this Article, Professor Frank Rudy Cooper provides a cultural studies approach to the encoding and decoding of the drug war that will allow us to draw important conclusions about the effects of the drug war on the Court. In Part I of this Article, he describes how the field of cultural studies reads popular culture through the analytical tools of "encoding" and "decoding." In Part II, he analyzes why and how law enforcement has encoded the drug war as requiring increased prosecution of drug users and drug dealers. In Part III, he considers how the Court's decoding of law enforcement's drug war discourse has led to the Un-Balanced Fourth Amendment, which is the Court's trend toward weighing law enforcement interests more heavily than privacy interests. In Part IV, Professor Cooper argues for creation of an oppositional decoding of the drug war to counteract the negative consequences resulting from the drug war discourse defined by law enforcement and sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

Publication Citation

47 Vill. L. Rev. 851 (2002).