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ABSTRACT

Reselling consumable commodities like food, alcohol, and cigarettes to agricultural workers has long been a strategy of control and indebtedness used by North American labor bosses to manage workers in situations of demanding and risky work. Recent inclusion of crack cocaine among advanced commodities has brought new risks for workers, as it has permitted them a precarious means to enter a once-restricted resale domain, and it has altered strategies of control and profit by labor contractors by conferring a veneer of independence on workers. Discussion emphasizes an inside view of crack distribution amidst the shifting agencies and counteragencies between labor and management.