Customer Review

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing book on atleast two accounts...., February 4, 2002
This review is from: After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century (Paperback)
"After Prohibition" is based on a Cato Institute conference of the same title and contains twelve essays by Cato employees, academics, drug-policy experts, and government officials, as well as a foreword by Milton Friedman. The central figure of the conference and the book is the Republican governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, who has been a vocal critic of current drug policy...
...The book presents a critique of drug policy that is accessible to a wide audience. The essays are informative and emotive, peppered with references to the popular press and to law reviews. They tell a variety of horror stories about the drug war. I found the section on the Constitution-containing articles by Roger Pilon, Steven Duke, and David Kopel-to be the strongest. Readers with a sense of justice and reverence for the Constitution will be disgusted by the convincing evidence of the existence of a Nazi-like police state in America, complete with tactics borrowed from Senator McCarthy and FBI Director Hoover...
..."After Prohibition" is a disappointing book on at least two accounts. First, because it contains nothing new in terms of research and science, it will probably not inform drug-policy specialists, and even the nonspecialist will not be enlightened to a significant degree. The book reports that the war on drugs has failed, that the Constitution is dead, and that a military-style police state is taking over the country, and it trots out convincing evidence in support of those claims...
...Second, the book's title is misleading. Very little of the book deals with what happens after prohibition. The various authors bring up the issue of what happens to the quantity of drugs consumed, but only in a superficial way, and they reach no conclusions. The book focuses not on the future, but on issues related to the escalation of the U.S. government's war on drugs over the last twenty-five years...
...The subtitle, "An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century," is likewise misleading. Although some new approaches to prohibition are introduced, nowhere in the book is an approach to future drug policies developed in any detail. The "adult approach" might refer to the necessity of maintaining prohibition for minors, a position held throughout the book. This position gives the reader the mistaken impression that although drug prohibition for adults has been a massive and tragic failure, drug prohibition for minors would be perfectly acceptable and successful...
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