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Product Details

  • Series: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (July 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199913730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199913732
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What Everyone Needs to Know

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW About This Series

Who it's for:

Busy people with diverse interests, ranging from college students to professionals, who wish to inform themselves in a succinct yet authoritative manner about a particular topic.

What's inside:

An incisive approach to a complex and timely issue, laid out in a straight-forward, question-and-answer format.

Meet Our Authors

Top experts in their given fields, ranging from an Economist correspondent to a director at the Council on Foreign Relations, you can trust our authors’ expertise and guidance.

Popular Topics in the "What Everyone Needs to Know" Series

  • International Politics
  • Environmental Policies
  • World History
  • Sciences & Math
  • Religion & Spirituality

From Booklist

In this nonpartisan book (the authors themselves, all public-policy academics, don’t even personally hold the same viewpoints), readers will learn about the risks and benefits of marijuana legalization. The work outlines marijuana basics in a Q&A format—such as “Has marijuana been getting more potent?” and “Is marijuana really the nation’s leading cash crop?”—and considers legal and personal ramifications, from distribution to taxation to addiction. A valuable primer for anyone interested in the current debate about the war on drugs. --Rebecca Vnuk

More About the Author

Mark A. R. Kleiman



Mark A.R. Kleiman is Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. His teaching and research cover drug policy, crime control policy, and methods of policy analysis. His books include *Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control* and *Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results*, and *When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment* (one of The Economist's "Books of the Year" for 2009).

Most recently, he has joined Jonathan Caulkins, Angela, Hawken, and Beau Kilmer in writing two books in Oxford's "What Everyone Needs to Know" series, one on *Drug Policy* and, most recently, one on *Marijuana Legalization*. He edits the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis and blogs at The Reality-Based Community (http://www.samefacts.com). His essay in Foreign Affairs, "Surgical Strikes in the Drug Wars: Smarter Strategies for Both Sides of the Border," presents an innovative approach to reducing drug-trafficking violence.


Mr. Kleiman studied political science, philosophy, and economics at Haverford College and received his Master of Public Policy degree and his Ph.D. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he also taught before coming to UCLA. His governmental experience includes stints on Capitol Hill (working for Les Aspin), in Boston City Hall, and at the Justice Department. His firm, BOTEC Analysis Corporation, advises local, state, and national governments on drug policy and crime control.








Customer Reviews

Fantastic, non-biased book that presented the facts succinctly and objectively.
Vincent Le
I recommend that those who advocate legalization as I do, should read this book so as to help keep their discussions more factual.
T. Teater
I believe if marijuana was legal, many people would quit dangerous and addictive drugs in favor of a more healthy choice.
Chris Hawkes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Henry Abraham on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
With nearly universal agreement that the War on Drugs has done more to spur the illicit drug trade than to stop it (even the current Drug Czar concedes the point), now comes the idea of marijuana legalization. 74% of Americans support its use as medicine. To date 17 states have made it legal for that purpose. Can the Feds be far behind?

Four scholars with a background in drug policy analysis at the RAND Corporation now weigh in on the question. One could not ask for a more balanced and clear treatment of the controversy. For readers in a hurry let me reveal that three support legal weed, and one doesn't. But you'd miss a great deal if you didn't read more.

Making something illegal that a lot of people want puts a smile on the faces of criminals the world over. Drug policy is the largest reason there exists a 600 billion dollar a year drug trade. It is the reason the U.S. has the world's largest prison system. It also makes criminals out of millions of otherwise law abiding citizens who smoke marijuana.
Despite the trillion dollars spent in the War on Drugs over the last forty years, and the 750,000 marijuana arrests each year in the US, the majority of American high schoolers still report that weed is "easy to get." Half of the seniors used it in 2011. No wonder. The cost for weed use comes in at less than a dollar per stoned hour, a lot cheaper than the ticket to see The Dark Knight.

Weed is, well, a weed. It's easy to grow. A small house with grow lights can yield a retail crop of $2.5 million. In the U.S. economists estimate that weed production is in the top 15 of cash crops, on par with potatoes and grapes. If marijuana use occurs de facto, why not end its prohibition?

Not so fast, say the authors.
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60 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Chris Hawkes on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is thought provoking.
It made me think of angles to the legalization debate I have never thought of.
Most of this book is based on good solid data.
However the aim of this book is to take the undecided on the subject of legalization and guide them, ever so gently away from the solid data, to persuade them that legalization will do more harm than good.
Marijuana does not fit the clinical definition of addiction. So, in 1984 Orwellian fashion, they redefine it to mean dependent.

It didn't take me many chapters to figure out the anti-legalization thrust of this book. What sealed the deal for me, was when they stated as fact, that CBD is a psychoactive (chemical) like THC. This was their first LIE. CBD does not alter consciousness.

The authors asserts opinions, sprinkles in a little fact, then asserts their opinions as facts. It is rarely a pro con argument. They rarely take an argument, and then argue against it, in debate fashion. Although they often admit there is no way of knowing some things, much of this book is speculation on things they admit is imposable to know.

If you don't know much about the legalization debate, this book can be misleading. If you are well versed on this subject and know a little about logic, this book can be thought provoking and annoying. The next generation of reefer madness propagandists may use this book to further their empire.

What I think about legalization,

I believe the majority of us want a moral and just society to live in. Cannabis is more healthy and is more likely to promote social harmony than alcohol and tobacco. I believe many people will quit the more harmful and addictive drugs alcohol and tobacco and switch to cannabis.
Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Murua on July 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am from the camp that thinks cannabis should legalized, taxed, and regulated like alcohol. While I love reading anything that promotes legalization of cannabis, this book was a breath of fresh air on the subject. It is written in a perspective that looks at all sides of the subject, not just pounding out a message that cannabis should be legal because of this and that reason. Throughout the book it speaks on on a points that promote legalization, and then immediately counters on the same point with what might be drawbacks if cannabis were legal. This was an excellent read in my opinion if one is interested in learning more about the subject.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alejandro S. Hope on July 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is extremely useful for anyone interested in drug policy in general and the marijuana legalization debate in particular. It provides a comprehensive, yet very readable review, of available scientific evidence on the many facets of marijuana, as well as providing extensive information on the economics of legalization. In contrast to most other volumes on the subject, it is balanced and even-handed. More importantly, it breaks out of the sterile legalization/prohibition binary framework and describes a wide range of potential regulatory alternatives (all with pors and cons). All in all, a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David F. Phillips on April 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A quick read with interesting facts - and information regarding a lack of facts in many areas regarding marijuana. I found the book a little bit disjoint - perhaps a sign of multiple authors who don't agree with one another on many relevant pieces of the book. Nevertheless worth the read.
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