Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know : What Everyone Needs to Know
While there have always been norms and customs around the use of drugs, explicit public policies--regulations, taxes, and prohibitions--designed to control drug abuse are a more recent phenomenon. Those policies sometimes have terrible side-effects: most prominently the development of criminal enterprises dealing in forbidden (or untaxed) drugs and the use of the profits of drug-dealing to finance insurgency and terrorism. Neither a drug-free world nor a world of free drugs seems to be on offer, leaving citizens and officials to face the age-old problem: What are we going to do about drugs?
In Drugs and Drug Policy, three noted authorities survey the subject with exceptional clarity, in this addition to the acclaimed series, What Everyone Needs to Know. They begin by, defining "drugs," examining how they work in the brain, discussing the nature of addiction, and exploring the damage they do to users. The book moves on to policy, answering questions about legalization, the role of criminal prohibitions, and the relative legal tolerance for alcohol and tobacco. The authors then dissect the illicit trade, from street dealers to the flow of money to the effect of catching kingpins, and show the precise nature of the relationship between drugs and crime. They examine treatment, both its effectiveness and the role of public policy, and discuss the beneficial effects of some abusable substances. Finally they move outward to look at the role of drugs in our foreign policy, their relationship to terrorism, and the ugly politics that surround the issue.
Crisp, clear, and comprehensive, this is a handy and up-to-date overview of one of the most pressing topics in today's world.
"This book is incredibly useful, in both format and content. It has made me more aware than ever of the extent to which people are either uninformed or misinformed about most issues having to do with drug policy, drug trafficking, and criminal activity. If Washington's political leaders, government officials, and policy analysts give the book the wide attention it deserves, we might finally begin the kind of serious, rational debate about drug issues that the US and the rest of the world desperately needs."
-Peter Hakim, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow of the Inter-American Dialogue
"A product of genius, in form and content: more than two hundred questions, all relevant and urgent, with succinct and lucid answers. When I started the book, I had strong opinions on many of the topics it covered; again and again--every time the book came into conflict with my original beliefs--the authors changed my mind. If you care about drugs, you need to read this book. If you don't, read it anyway, just to see how it's done." --Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences
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Oxford University Press
June 01, 2011
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