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July 28, 2009

An Unexpected Request

"The other morning I received an unexpected "thank-you" e-mail of the kind that can suddenly brighten an otherwise drab day. It ended with a request for something I've long been considering, but never quite got around to: put up a list of books I think all serious drug policy reformers should read:

"I was also wondering what recommendations you would have regarding literature on cannabis (I'm already reading your blog). As a student of the social sciences I am more inclined towards books on law, policy, history, psychology, etc. although I do have a casual interest in the medical/scientific side as well. I am formulating a "reading list" for myself. Can you think of any must-have titles for that list? I respect your opinion very highly, and I appreciate the input... My answer: There were several early Seventies books that took on the drug war, shortly after its inception:

The Drug Hang-up by Rufus King, a lawyer, was one of the first to see through Harry Anslinger and earn his enmity. A classic; it can be read online at: http://www.druglibrary.org/special/king/dhu/dhumenu.htm

Consumers' Union Report on Licit & Illicit Drugs, Brecher. ditto: http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/cu/cumenu.htm

High in America; Patrick Anderson ditto. http://www.druglibrary.org/special/anderson/highinamerica.htm The inspiration for Anderson's 1981 chronicle of the foundation of NORML begins with the author's attendance at a party mourning Nixon's 1972 election.

Agency of Fear; Ed Jay Epetein 1978; Story of the Nixon Administration's push for its own federal police force (which became the DEA) online at: http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/epstein/index.html

Three mid- Nineties books very worth reading:

Smoke & Mirrors, by Dan Baum. 1996. Excellent update of Epstein, with greater focus on the politics of pot prohibition.

Drug Warriors & their Prey Richard L. Miller Compares drug war to Nazi techniques.

Drug Crazy: Mike Gray 1998 Very accurate and succinct overview of war on drugs just as 215 was going into effect. Last chapter is especially prescient on how medical MJ has potential to end prohibition.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 28, 2009 04:56 AM