Drug Crazy How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get


Drug Crazy How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out Best book on drug war Well written and it definitely highlights the problems with the 'war on drugs' It is amazing how much of the current US drug policy appears to be derived from made up numbers and political expediency However I am not sure if the author is balanced in their view of the medical establishment The book lauds doctors who have been involved in harm reduction appropriately but never once mentions doctors feeding habits particularly in regards to celebrities Thus the proposed solution ie how we can get out promised by the title was not developed well enough This is a pretty entertaining book about the history of our drug war and prohibition Although I knew most of the things in it already the author wrote about it in an engaging way and I learned a lot of new stuff anyway The way the author ties these times to the era of alcohol prohibition is especially enlightening as well as the explanations of how smarter countries have dealt with the situation The author also explains how the drug war now reaches into a huge amount of lives both as a basis for degrading human rights and as a race war and corrupts almost everything it touches There's some great stuff in here that I wish were common knowledge of course if it were drugs would already be decriminalized and we'd have way safer streets neighborhoodsI would say it's a pretty good introduction for everyone who has not yet learned about the horrors of America's war on drugs An excellent voice in the wildernessThis is an anti war on drugs book—for another see Dirk Chase Eldredge's Ending the War on Drugs A Solution for America 1998—and a good one emphasizing both the current stupidity and past stupidities The author makes the point that the use of addictive drugs is not as bad as middle America would like to believe Gray points to studies showing that people addicted to heroin for example can hold down jobs and be productive citizens at a maintenance level a truth that the drug war industry wants to keep hidden However junkies can't be productive when they have to hustle and commit crimes to support their habit Hence the so called war on drugs that artificially keeps the price of street drugs high and works to keep users unproductive not to mention criminalGray also makes the familiar point that this is the sort of thing that some humans will always do Just as a certain percentage of the population will always be unemployed a certain percentage will turn to drug addiction So it’s Prohibition all over againLess familiar however is the idea that street drugs and street drug users supply our society with a target for hate now that the evil empire of communism has largely expired Ordinary people can sit around and get morally worked up about the evil of drugs the way they once got worked up about the red menace We might be in for a perpetually divided society If we didn't have the druggies whom would we hateMore ominous for the present society though is the possibility that the war on drugs by supporting the price of street drugs the way tobacco farmers would like us to support the price of tobacco has increased drug use by making it into a hugely profitable business Since we are a capitalist society that celebrates financial success above all else it is not surprising that the illegal drug business is seen as glamorous by a significant percentage of our young people Even scarier is the very sad truth that the war continues to be waged as a means to support the huge criminal justice bureaucracy that it createdWith this last point in mind Gray's way out of the mess through the decriminalization of street drugs isn't likely to happen any time soon Dennis Littrell author of the mystery novel “Teddy and Teri” Interesting book material a little dated since it came out in 1998 but easy to understand for an avid fan of The Wire as the author talks about the ports and the buy bust mentality of law enforcement And there was an experiement to push all drug use to one particular area you don't say Probably where David Simon got the idea The author had a very measured solution in mind for curbing America's out of control drug problem I expected that by the end of the book he would be calling for complete legalization instead it's like harm reduction Sounds good to me our current system is all about harm magnification Really should a segement of society routinely have to give up their civil rights so that we can have a few ounces of heroin off the streets Most horrifying aspect was probably the fortfeiture system an astounding number of people had their property taken and then WERE NEVER CHARGED WITH A CRIME This shouldn't happen in America Our government is corrupt and has been for years we need to let drug addicts have their fix Six years in the making Drug Crazy offers a gripping account of the stunning violence corruption and chaos that have characterized America's drug war since its inception in 1914 Weaving a provocative analogy between the drug scene today and the failure of Prohibition in the 1920s Drug Crazy argues that the greatest danger we face is prohibition itself        While the target of our nation's controlled substance laws may have shifted from hooch to heroin the impact on society discriminatory policing demonization of the users graft and grandstanding among lawmakers and lawbreakers is an instant replay Instead of Al Capone we have Larry Hoover of Chicago's Gangster Disciples running a multimillion dollar drug syndicate from his prison cell in Joliet        In a riveting account of how we got here conventional wisdom is turned on its head and we find that rather than a planned assault on the scourge of addiction the drug war happened almost by accident but has been continually exploited by political opportunists        From the explosive opening montage of undercover cops caught in a shoot out on Chicago's South Side to a humid courtroom in Malaysia where a young American faced death by hanging for possession of marijuana Drug Crazy takes us to the front lines of the war on drugs and introduces us to a cast of villains and heroes profiteers and victims Among them ¸         Pauline Morton Sabin a Republican aristocrat who administered the coup de grâce to Prohibition by leading a million women into the arms of the Democrats ¸         Harry Anslinger a former railroad cop who guided the  Bureau of Narcotics through five administrations and engineered some of the most enduring and pernicious myths of the drug war ¸         Pablo Escobar Gaviria the Colombian kingpin who nailed  a suspected informer with a bomb killing him along with a hundred innocent airline passengers        From the men and women in the forward trenches Drug Crazy brings back a grim report The situation is deteriorating on all fronts In a sobering tally of the cost in crime human suffering and cold hard cash it documents the failure of crop eradication in the source countries the hopeless task of sealing the border and the violent world of the major players We see the steady erosion of the Bill of Rights and a grinding criminal justice mill so overwhelmed that it's running a night shift        We do however get a glimpse of a way out of this swamp Lessons from Europe and from our own experience are pointing us toward higher ground        In Drug Crazy Mike Gray has launched a frontal assault on America's drug war orthodoxy and his frightening overview of the battlefield makes it clear this urgent debate must begin now One might expect that a book written almost twenty years ago on the drug war would be relatively out of date today The fact that it isn't is yet another data point in defense of the claims of the book Despite the massive amounts of money and political capital spent on the drug war things don't change Drug Crazy is not an argument that drugs are not as bad for you as you think but rather that at this point in the war on drugs the cure is worse than the disease Though the book is merely adeuately rather than elouently written and you sometimes get the feeling that the author is doing a great amount of summarizing of complicated histories the author's argument is compelling The reader may or may not ultimately be convinced but this book at least starts the discussion which is something that even today is difficult to do This book was pretty good Good facts and figures about the drug war although the style it was written in wasn't always compelling There are other books that do a better job of keeping the reader engaged I do recommend this to anyone willing to read about the subject though It wasn't too difficult to read seemed to be pretty well footnoted and for the most part kept its tone pretty professional although some snark did sneak in in well justified places however Good overall book nothing too impressive but nothing terrible either Excellent historical review of the public perceptions and governmental interventions in the drug problem Gives a rundown of how the drug wars have played out on our streets and those of other countries Very readable in an appalling way Clearly exdplains how everything the government has done to fight the war on drugs has benefited dealers drug producers and gangsters and actively damaged treatment and prevention efforts Explains why other countries have better success in preventing and treating addictions


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About the Author: Mike Gray

Harold Michael Mike Gray October 26 1935 – April 30 20131 was an American writer screenwriter cinematographer film producer and director Gray's books includeThe Warning 1982 about the accident at Three Mile IslandDrug Crazy How we got into this mess and how we can get out 1998Angle of Attack 1992 a biography of Harrison Storms which also details America's race to the moonThe