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Drug War Heresies
Learning from Other Vices, Times, & Places
Rating :
Author(s) :
Robert J. MacCoun
Peter Reuter
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2001(pb,1st ed,vg)
Publisher :
Cambridge University Press
This book provides the first multidisciplinary and nonpartisan analysis of how the United States should decide on the legal status of cocaine, heroin and marijuana. It draws on data about the experiences of Western European nations with less punitive drug policies as well as new analyses of America's experience with legal cocaine and heroin a century ago, and of America's efforts to regulate gambling, prostitution, alcohol and cigarettes. It offers projections on the likely consequences of a number of different legalization regimes and shows that the choice about how to regulate drugs involves complicated tradeoffs among goals and conflict among social groups.

"This book appears just in time as the public keeps shouting at its leaders to ease up on their absolutist drug war. Written by two of the most knowledgeable analysts of drug policy, it provides the fullest analysis of the drug-policy problem yet to emerge. Drawing on historical experience in the US and contemporary innovation in Europe, it provides a careful blueprint for a drug policy based on reducing the harm of combatting drugs as well as the drugs themselves, and thereby avoids the horrors of strict zero-tolerance or those of full legalization."
-- Alfred Blumstein, Past President, American Society of Criminology

"If you're happy believing what "everyone knows" about the drug problem and how to manage it, put this book down at once. If you're interested in the truth, take it home and read it. MacCoun and Reuter are knowledgeable, perceptive, relentless, and dispassionate. From now on, knowing what they have to say will be the price of admission to any serious discussion of drug policy."
-- Mark Kleiman, Author of Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results

"This is a superb book that should be required reading for every governmental official concerned with drug abuse policy. It is refreshing to read a book on drug abuse policy that uses data to reach conclusions rather than to justify preconceived views. Neither the drug legalization proponents nor the drug warriors are going to find much comfort in this book. It will hopefully, however, give the vast majority of us who are moderates in our views about drug abuse policy the data to demand changes in our current policies."
-- Charles R. Schuster, Former Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse

Robert J. MacCoun is Professor of Public Policy and Law at Goldman School of Public Policy and Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was Behavioral Scientist at RAND from 1986 to 1993, where he is now a consultant. Professor MacCoun's work with Peter Reuter on street-level drug dealing in Washington, DC, European drug policies, harm reduction, and other drug policy topics has appeared in Science, Psychological Bulletin, and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, among other leading publications. Peter Reuter is Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Affairs and Department of Criminology, Unversity of Maryland. He founded the RAND Drug Polcy Research Center, directed it from 1989 to 1993, and continues to serve there as a consultant. Professor Reuter is currently editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Law and Justice.