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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Books I've read lately on the drug war

When you are really interested in a topic, it's easy to sit around and read about it.

Drug policy is one of my great interests. Lately, I've read or reread:

Drugs: America's Holy War (by Arthur Benavie)

Mother of all Gateway Drugs: Parables for our Time (by John Newmeyer)

Demons, Discrimination and Dollars: A Brief History of the Origins of American Drug Policy (by David Bearman)

Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition (by Jeffrey Miron)

Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs.

There are numerous commonalities in these books. Each is written by an expert -- some are professors, others are medical doctors, one is a judge! Each uses empirical evidence to show how national and state drug control policy -- the drug war -- has failed. Each tells the truth and calls for serious change.

Amazingly, all of these authors come from different backgrounds as well as political perspectives. Some are liberal, others very conservative. Yet, they see eye to eye about the drug war. It is an unmitigated failure because it does not achieve its stated goals, and its enormous costs outweigh its meager benefits.

If you're looking for a good read on the drug war, start with these. You can also read our book, which examines what the US government says about drug policy (in spite of the data).

I've written a follow-up here: Robinson, Matthew B., (2010). Toward a More Useful National Drug Control Strategy. Justice Policy Journal, 7(1), 1-49.
See article (PDF Format)

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