Opponents of the "war on drugs" have long focused on the distinction between drug use and drug abuse; that distinction is at the heart of Sullum's provocative and impeccably reasoned new title. Our expensive and ineffectual drug war, Sullum says, is predicated on a fundamental misconception that drugs are inherently "bad." Politicians and the media perpetuate the stereotype of the desperate, violent druggie, while the average user looks nothing like that, Sullum says-just as the typical drinker bears little resemblance to a wino passed out in the gutter. "We see the drug users who get hauled away by police, who nod off in doorways and on park benches, who beg on the street or break into cars," Sullum writes. "We do not see the drug users who hold down a job, pay the rent or the mortgage, and support a family." He describes the billionaire insurance executive who's also a "functioning pothead," the neuroscientist who enjoys MDMA at social events and the woman who likes a bit of heroin before cleaning house. Most people understand that alcohol can be dangerous if used to excess, but alcohol in and of itself does not "compel immoral behavior." Why, Sullum asks, is that not the case for marijuana, cocaine and heroin? He labels the vilification of certain drugs over others (like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine) "voodoo pharmacology." A senior editor at the libertarian journal Reason, Sullum rejects the frequent moralizing that clouds the drug debate, and frames much of his case as part of the greater argument against so-called "consensual" crime, which asks why an act by consenting adults that doesn't hurt anyone should be illegal. As with his last title, For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health, Sullum proves he's not afraid to take on entrenched public policies that he sees as fundamentally wrongheaded. Never preachy, his volume presents its heavily annotated arguments in clear, conversational tone that's refreshing for a book of this kind.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Jacob Sullum dismantles the antidrug messages." The New Yorker
"A welcome departure from the choreographed war on drugs." The Washington PostSee all Editorial Reviews
This book changed my life. It is so informative, well-argued and made me realize that yes, human beings do have the right to put whatever substances they wish into their bodies. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Troy Farah
This is an excellent book regarding drugs and their prohibition and use. He attacks the idea that drugs into people slaves lacking in free will, and powerless to stop. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Doc Hew
One of the few attempts to get to the actual facts of drug use and addiction. Sullum systematically goes through every illicit drug and discusses the evidence relating to its... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Smet
This is a great book for exploring the topic of substance use in a balanced manner. The arguments are well thought out and researched, with very insightful and relevant historic... Read morePublished 10 months ago by S. Munk
I find it refreshing to read a fact-based analysis of issues in a world where most authors make decisions in the absence of evidence and then spew out baseless propaganda to... Read morePublished 11 months ago by John
"Humans have brains that are built to work on anecdote rather than real data." [Jeffrey P. Utz, MD]
Man's relationship with drugs has been one long and turbulent ride. Read more
A more realistic look at drugs and the people who use them than the fables told by the government. Since the beginning of time people have found or created substances to relieve... Read morePublished on August 7, 2013 by jsly58
I've well versed on the history and (my words) "evolutionary legacy" that have brought us to this current age of prohibition. Read morePublished on November 9, 2012 by Ells
I purchased this book about 4 years ago and used it for an English project over drugs and their exaggerated effects as told by the media. Read morePublished on January 26, 2011 by EddiR