Industrial-Sized Deals Best Books of the Month Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Beach House Fire TV Stick Grocery Shop Popular Services tmnt tmnt tmnt  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage GNO Gear Up for Football Deal of the Day

Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know®
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$13.79+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2011
I used a preview version of this book for a class on illegal drug markets. In the past, I used academic articles by these same authors for issues like supply side drug enforcement efforts,and legalization. This book has the same authority and non-dogmatic presentation as those articles, but is more accessible. As a result of the introductory information, my students seemed to be better prepared to debate complex topics like legalization intelligently. I found the comparisons with alcohol and tobacco to be very helpful for my students, who for some reasons tend to see illegal drugs as very different substances.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Kleiman, Caulkins, and Hawken have pulled a great coup with this volume. They managed to condense, in very readable terms, layer upon layer of scholarly research about the many facets of drug policy. Their encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject matter, combined with a breezy style, allows the reader to quickly make sense of complex and controversial issues. This is not, however, a dry reference book: the authors have strong, sometimes eccentric opinions that will not be to everyone's liking. But that is indeed one of this book's strenghts: it allows its pages to feel as an animated conservation with three very smart people.

Anyone with even a passing interest in drugs or drug policy should buy this book; and for policymakers involved in drug issues, this should be required reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
This book will be great for public libraries. High school students and undergraduates looking for information on drug policy will find this a
good source that lays out the facts in an easy to follow manner.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2012
Kleiman, Caulkins & Hawken do an overall good job at presenting the various sides of the war on drugs conundrum, and their book is indeed an easy read. But this comes at a price as their perspective is sometimes simplistic and self-serving. While they do not seem to deny that the current prohibitionist policies have created a big mess, they seem to believe that alternatives would be far worse, while they fail to truly explore all the viable alternatives. Between prohibition and free market, there is a continuum of options and free-market is certainly not the only alternative. Likewise, regulations should differ widely according to the substance, the mode of administration and the type of user. Kleiman & all correctly point out a variety of potential problems, such as the potential conflicts of interests between the various actors of a regulated drug marketplace, pitting employees and shareholders against regulators. They also correctly bundle all psychoactive substances, at least to a certain point, but they fail to push their observations to its logical conclusion. The vast majority of psychoactive substances are legal, and those that are currently illegal can be compared to legal counterparts that are at least as potentially harmful, therefore there is no logical rationale for the legal status of the substances currently illicit. As the authors correctly point out, the prohibition of certain substances create a dangerous black-market, as well as all kinds of derived problems due to complete lack of quality control and unsanitary administration practices among others. Altogether, the unintended consequences of prohibition bear a huge economic, societal and human toll, with marginal effects on price and availability. The nearly 8-fold increase in jailed population since the launch of the War on Drugs has created an underclass with no social prospects besides crime, and catastrophic consequences for dependents.
The authors seem to ignore a few facts worth noticing: Despite the huge power of the alcohol industry, alcohol abuse has been on an overall decline since it peaked in the mid-1800s to early 1900s. This has been accomplished mostly through prevention, education and decreased social acceptability of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is still a huge problem, but has been reduced greatly. Same with tobacco abuse.
Cocaine use has declined substantially since its peak in the 1980s, but this has been more than compensated by the abuse of prescription drugs. To quote the authors, "non-medical use of prescription pharmaceuticals is already an enormous problem", which is putting it mildly. There seems to have been a displacement of use here. Drug prohibition is most likely merely kicking the can and displacing the underlying problem of substance abuse and addiction, with its added layer of nefarious consequences.
At the end of the day, the book is too simplistic and disappointing in its failure to truly explore alternative to the current failed prohibitionist regime. On the heel of the report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy issued in June 2010, the book seems outdated. I suggest reading the excellent report issued by the "Transform Drug Policy Foundation" in 2004: `After the War on Drugs: Options for Control,'
The recently released World War D. The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization offers a much broader picture with deeper analysis and more in-depth understanding of the issues revolving around use and abuse of psychoactive substances and the perverse effect of the criminalization of certain substances. The book also presents realistic and reasoned alternatives to the status quo.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ever since President Nixon launched the war on drugs some 50-years ago, mounting evidence reports that many drug policies more harm than good. While written by academics, the book is comprehensive, written in an easy-to-read style, and the material is inclusive (not one-sided).

Drug use often isn't a problem, per the authors. Most do so in a reasonably controlled fashion and without much harm to themselves or others. About 3 million (less than 1% of our population) consume 80% of illegal hard drugs. (It's amazing how widely applicable Pareto's Law is!) Those looking to make an impact need to focus on those users, not the 80% that use only 20%. Unfortunately, that has not been the case - more are imprisoned for drug offenses than for property crimes, and though we spend 5X more jailing drug dealers than 30 years ago, heroin and cocaine are 80 - 90% cheaper than 30 years ago.

Alcohol kills more than all illicit drugs combined - 85,000 vs. 17,000 in 2000, per a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Alcohol also has far more addicted users.

The 'good news' is that drug consumers are not a significant part of those filling our prisons - drug dealers are. The authors suggest smarter enforcement - concentrating on violent dealers, though they reject legalization as too scary to experiment with. A Boston program promised to come down on all gang members if any utilized violence - the result was a sharp drop in homicides over a two-year period.

The authors contend that imprisoning low-value dealers is pointless - a $200 transaction can cost society $100,000 for a three-year sentence and produces large numbers emerging from prison with blighted employment prospects. Further, they contend that these 'pushers' have little to do with initiating drug use - almost every user starts when given drugs by a friend, sibling, or acquaintance.

If cocaine was legalized, a $5 crack rock might cost 25 cents, and a kilogram could sell for little over $2,000 at retail, instead of $100,000. Legalizing most drugs would also deprive cartels of hundreds of billions in revenue, and greatly reduce associated violence (eg. 30,000+ murders in Mexico since 2007).

Needle exchanges, safe injection sites, and opiate maintenance are each supported by evidence. DARE is not. They praise a drug-treatment program in Hawaii (Hope) which tells those involved with drugs to ditch the habit, against the certainty of a prompt, short but escalating sentence if they fail the frequent drug tests. A similar program exists in Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas. South Dakota has an analogous program for DUI convictions (Sobriety 24/7) with twice a day testing of drunk drivers. More than 99% of the time they show up, sober. The program has reduced DUIs.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
This little gem provides a concise, clear, and essentially complete introduction to the fundamental underlying dynamics of drugs and drug policy. Because the topic itself invites so much fervent and ill-considered rhetoric around two extremes, the breadth here, and the seamless introduction to the genuine complexities of the issues at hand, offers a tonic for the thoughtful (though the gin is your own business.) The Q&A format, handled in detail in the Table of Contents, makes it easy to find specific information as well as to dive deeply when you're up for it. I believe that this Q&A format is actually something Oxford has done on other topics, and I say more power to them if they can continue finding authors with this level of expertise, humor, and pinpoint writing skills.

Cheers all around!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
I am a professor of Criminal Justice/Public Administration and Policy at UAlbany. I used a preview version of this book for an upper level seminar (N=20)on illegal markets. One section is on drug markets, and I need the students to get up to speed quickly on the basic features of drug and drug markets. In the past, I used academic articles by these same authors (who are leading experts on drug policy) for issues like supply side drug enforcement efforts,and legalization. This book has the same authority and non-dogmatic presentation as those articles, but is more accessible. As a result of the introductory information, my students seemed to be better prepared to debate complex topics like legalization intelligently. I found the comparisons with alcohol and tobacco to be very helpful for my students, who for some reasons tend to see illegal drugs as very different substances.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Being an analyst who follows the drug war in Mexico on a daily basis, I was really interested in this book to learn more about the drugs themselves, rather than just how they were being transported into the United States. SO many of the assumptions I had and things I "knew" about drugs and drug addiction were turned on their heads by the time I finished reading this! I'm still on the fence about whether we, as a country, would benefit more from maintaining current drug policy (or at least a smarter version of it) or ending all drug prohibition; there are just so many unknowns, and it's a very complex issue that can't be easily predicted. But what this book does is provide all of us - and hopefully several US policy makers - with solid information we can all use to be smarter about how we approach drug trafficking, drug addiction, and drug policy.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on July 1, 2014
book came as expected in the condition stated
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Excellent book for people starting to study the world of drugs, or that want simpler explanations for such a complicated topic. Very recomendable.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know®
Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know® by Mark Kleiman (Paperback - July 13, 2012)
$12.65

Drugs and Drug Policy: The Control of Consciousness Alteration
Drugs and Drug Policy: The Control of Consciousness Alteration by Clayton James Mosher (Paperback - August 22, 2013)
$83.33

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.