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Cohen, Peter (1990), Preface. In: Peter Cohen (1990), Drugs as a social construct. Dissertation. Amsterdam, Universiteit van Amsterdam. pp. V.
© Copyright 1990 Peter Cohen. All rights reserved.

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Preface

Subtitle

Peter Cohen

I approached Prof. Harm 't Hart a year ago with the question of whether he would be willing to act as my promotor. I expected him to react as he he always does: with a great amount of caution. And indeed, he quite prudently said he would have to look into what I presented him with.

He then kindly invited me to write a short introduction showing the connections between all the different parts of my work. I am glad he insisted. This introduction has known more versions than any other part of my dissertation. Keeping it short was much more difficult than I had foreseen. Writing it convinced me that sometime I will have to take time, a year or more, to submerge myself in all the theories behind what is now called drug science, and to write something longer.

I thank Prof. 't Hart for his patience, and for playing the invaluable role of "methodological encyclopedia" behind the work that went into the study of cocaine use in Amsterdam.

Prof. Hans van Amersfoort, my second promotor, deserves gratitude for his wise criticism. He also gave me all the time and workspace I needed as a new member of the Vakgroep Social Geography, University of Amsterdam, to do what I wanted to do.

I thank the other members of the "Promotiecommissie", Professors Grinspoon, Hess, Hulsman and Polak and dr. Musterd for taking the time to evaluate the material that was assembled for this publication. They have all been important, years before this dissertation, in shaping my views on and my relation to the field of drugs. Some of them influenced me through their writing, some through long discussions and some by both.

My study of cocaine users could not have become what it is without the assistance, professional zeal and curiosity of both drs. Dirk Korf and drs. Paul Sandwijk. I hope to continue my cooperation with them in other non conventional studies in this field.

Peter Cohen
September 1990

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