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Drug Crazy: How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out 1st Edition

71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415926478
ISBN-10: 0415926475
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Editorial Reviews Review

Drug Crazy is a scathing indictment of America's decades-long "war on drugs," an expensive and hypocritical folly which has essentially benefited only two classes of people: professional anti-drug advocates and drug lords.

Did you know that a presidential commission determined that marijuana is neither an addicitve substance nor a "stepping stone" to harder drugs ... only to have President Nixon shelve the embarrassing final report and continue the government's policy of inflated drug addiction statistics? Did you know that several medical experts agree that "cold turkey" methods of withdrawal are essentially ineffective and recommend simply prescribing drugs to addicts ... and that communities in which this has been done report lower crime rates and reduced unemployment among addicts as a result?

Whether he's writing about the American government's strong-arm tactics toward critics of its drug policy or the reduction of countries like Colombia and Mexico to anarchic killing zones by powerful cartels, Mike Gray's analysis has an immediacy and a clarity worth noting. The passage of "medical marijuana" bills in California and Arizona (where the bill passed by a nearly 2-to-1 majority) indicates that people are getting fed up with the government's Prohibition-style tactics toward drugs. Drug Crazy just might speed that process along. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Arguing that the federal government's $300-billion campaign to eradicate drug use over the last 15 years has been a total failure, Gray calls for legalization of drugs and government regulation of their sale, with doctors writing prescriptions to addicts. Although he scants specifics as to how this would work and the potential consequences, his outspoken brief for decriminalization is bolstered by a revealing history of drug use in America. A Hollywood screenwriter, TV producer and director, Gray brings a filmic sense of drama and action to a gritty, scorching look at the failure of America's war on drugs. As he jump-cuts from Al Capone's syndicate in Prohibition-era Chicago to the abortive Reagan/Bush campaign to control Latin American drug traffic, Gray maintains that hardcore addicts, a small minority of drug users, have served as a scapegoat for politicians and lawmakers, with the nation's "moral focus" selectively shifting from opium and morphine in the first two decades of this century, to alcohol, then to marijuana in the early 1930s, to crack cocaine today. "It would seem that if Americans are to have any say at all in what their teenagers are exposed to," he concludes, "they will have to take the drug market out of the hands of the Tijuana Cartel and Gangster Disciples, and put it back in the hands of doctors and pharmacists where it was before 1914." Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (January 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415926475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415926478
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It's amazing that something as utterly futile and damaging to society as the war on drugs can be escalated year after year and receive so little resistance from the public at large. Our government seems obsessed with repeating the social disaster of alcohol prohibition on a much grander scale than in the 1920's. We've learned nothing in the past 80 years.
This book scares me. It provides insight into the lengths that our government will go to supress information, discussion, and research which even suggests that there might be workable common-sense alternatives to the War On Drugs. If the people that founded our country could see what's been done to their beloved Constitution in the name of "protecting society", they would be sick. In order to get tough on crime we need to eliminate the black-market and those criminals who become rich and powerful from it. LEGALIZATION - REGULATION - EDUCATION - REHABILITATION. These are our only hopes for a solution and anyone with even a basic understanding of the problem knows this. The War On Drugs is essentially a domestic Viet-Nam which is being fought against our own citizens.
Read this book and be very afraid.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an anti-"war on drugs" book-for another see Dirk Chase Eldredge's Ending the War on Drugs: A Solution for America (1998)-and a good one emphasizing both the current stupidity and past stupidities. The author makes the point that the use of addictive drugs is not as bad as middle America would like to believe. Gray points to studies showing that people addicted to heroin (for example) can hold down jobs and be "productive" citizens at a maintenance level, a truth that the "drug war industry" wants to keep hidden. However, junkies can't be productive when they have to hustle and commit crimes to support their habit. Hence the so-called war on drugs, which artificially keeps the price of street drugs high, works to keep users unproductive (not to mention criminal).
Gray also makes the familiar point that this is the sort of thing that some humans will always do. Just as a certain percentage of the population will always be unemployed, a certain percentage will turn to drug addiction-Prohibition all over again.
Less familiar however is the idea that street drugs and street drug users supply our society with a target for hate now that the "evil empire" of communism has largely expired. Ordinary people can sit around and get morally worked up about the evil of drugs the way they once got worked up about the "red menace." We might be in for a perpetually divided society. If we didn't have the druggies, whom would we hate?
More ominous for the present society though is the possibility that the war on drugs, by supporting the price of street drugs the way tobacco farmers would like us to support the price of tobacco, has increased drug use by making it into a hugely profitable business.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tom O¿Connell on June 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Book Review : Drug Crazy by Mike Gray (Random House, N.Y.- June, 1998)
America's War on Drugs, declared originally by Richard Nixon and waged with varying degrees of enthusiasm by every President since, has become a nearly invulnerable monster, thriving on its own failures and seemingly capable of destroying anyone reckless enough to speak out against it. Its simplistic central premise- drugs pose unthinkable dangers to our children, and therefore must be prohibited- has helped elect legions of politicians who then cite the latest drug scare as reason for tougher crack-downs, harsher laws, and more prisons. So completely has this idea of "illicit drugs" become society's default setting, and so beholden are politicians and others to it, the policy itself receives no critical scrutiny from government and little from academics dependent of federal funding. "Legalization" is a deadly brickbat hurled indiscriminately at all critics without thought that in a society based on capitalism, it is the illegal markets which are abnormal.
Although several scholarly, historically accurate books have pointed out shortcomings of this policy since the late Sixties, not one author has effectively attacked drug prohibition as a policy based on a completely false premise, incapable of preventing substance abuse problems; indeed, certain to make them worse. None, that is, until Mike Gray. A professional from the film world, Gray may have written the book no one else has yet been able to: a concise, readable, historically accurate, and well documented indictment of our drug policy. Very few reading his book all the way through will see the drug war the same way they did before. A major question then becomes: how many people will read it?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gary B Dietz on January 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have always wondered why the subject of drug use, addiction and legalization of drug use in the United States has been so polarized. In my years of experimenting with drugs such as Marijuana, amphetamines etc. I learned there are obvious reasons to use caution in the use of all drugs,whether street or legal ones. I find it interesting that all the attention from the press and govenment is always focused on the illegal street drugs and users, yet statistical facts bear out the reality that prescription drug addicts out number street addicts by a hugh margin. I find the book DRUG CRAZY, to be a breath of fresh air and sanity, documenting the real story of the genesis of drug laws and attitudes in this country. Any law that is legislated and enforced based on lies, manipulation of facts is not a law that belongs in a Republic such as ours. Mr. Gray has done an outstanding job in researching the actual documented history of drugs in america. I do not advocate the use of drugs for anyone, especially our youth, that is a personal decision made by free individuals who must take personal responsibility for that decision based on a study of the facts of each drug. This cannot be done if those facts are distorted or deleted from view. If you are confused by all the claims made by those who advocate the WAR ON DRUGS then please, please read this book. Your jaw will drop open when you find out how our present drug laws have come about.
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