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This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America Paperback – September 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Admitting that "so much has been written on drug use and American culture that it would take weeks to roll all of that paper up and smoke it," journalist Grim plunges into the counterculture, the literature, the research, the opposition, the pharmaceutical interests, the media coverage, the kids and users, the heroes and the hypocrites to chart the evolution of drug use in America, covering every illegal high, taking on well-entrenched myths and turning up fascinating stories on current trends-beginning with the end of LSD. Backed by plenty of startling facts (i.e., 1984's drug-related criminal population was 30,000; by 1991 it was more than 150,000), Grim fashions a sharp critique of anti-drug programs ("exposure to anti-drug ads led to higher rates of first-time drug use among certain groups, such as fourteen-to-sixteen year olds and whites") and other policy decisions (President Clinton's approval of NAFTA led to an unprecedented influx of drugs across the Mexican border). Grim isn't all talk, however: he barely survives on-site research during drug riots in Bolivia, goes through a typically fraught trip on ayahuasca, and scouts the battlefields of the fight to legalize cannabis ("In San Francisco, pot clubs quickly outnumbered McDonald's franchises"). This lively, personable history should strike fans of Martin Torgoff's Can't Find My Way Home as a worthy follow-up. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
""One of the theses of This Is Your Country on Drugs -- a cornucopia of unconventional wisdom about our relationship to mind-altering substances -- is that the popularity of drugs waxes and wanes according to a complex sum of factors."" (salon.com, July 20, 2009)
""Mark Kleiman calls it ""Atonishingly clear-headed and well-written, as if someone had taken David Courtwright and added just a splash of Hunter Thompson."" (Mark Klieman, TPMCafe)
""A wide-ranging, fascinating romp through the history of America's insatiable appetite for all manner of drugs, from opium to crystal meth, all the way up to the possibly soon-to-be-illegal hallucinogen Salvia divinorum."" (The Philadelphia City Paper)
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The first premise involves the supply of LSD. I have to admit, I've heard this before myself some time ago, and also what was substituted. So I know he is right there. The second involved Reagan, and despite the claims of detractors of this book, I'm at that right age to remember the 80's becoming the age of Speed/Coke/Capitalism, and the anti-drug ad that through reverse-psychology promoted it. I also remember the pot dealers turning into coke dealers by the mid-80's. The leason we failed to learn is that we are a speed culture going back to WW2.
So we have supply and demand and of course, the new wave of mind manipulation, public relations. Public Relations which the Reagan administration spent tons on to turn him into the God-President he is seen as today. Our own Claudius. Read about VAL's and F.U.D. to understand what I mean.
Thats my view of the first few pages.
Then the book becomes a history lesson going back to the Whiskey Rebellion. In other words, the Prohibition trauma we suffer began with the birth of this nation. I understand better the left leaning mechanism that not only delayed Women's suffrage but perhaps the end of slavery as well. This book, so far, doesn't take ideological sides, and neither should you.
I remember as a student being bored with history books, but loved the sidenotes to history printed in those textbooks because they had context. This is THE comprehensive history of our Country. And instead of having a non-theologian talk to us about theology, this author is trustworthy in that he understands and conveys the subject matter through intellect and experience. The question is, "Can you handle the truth"?
This book will make drug companies, the government and the drug war clear to you. The only other option to this book, is to read all the drug war propaganda past and present that comes from our government, and realize that its the complete opposite of the truth.
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