America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade Against Drugs [NOOK Book]

Overview

America's war on drugs. It makes headlines, tops political agendas and provokes powerful emotions. But is it really worth it? That’s the question posed by Steven Duke and Albert Gross in this groundbreaking book. They argue that America’s biggest victories in the war on drugs are the erosion of our constitutional rights, the waste of billions of dollars and an overwhelmed court system. After careful research and thought, they make a strong case for the legalization of drugs. ...

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America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade Against Drugs

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Overview

America's war on drugs. It makes headlines, tops political agendas and provokes powerful emotions. But is it really worth it? That’s the question posed by Steven Duke and Albert Gross in this groundbreaking book. They argue that America’s biggest victories in the war on drugs are the erosion of our constitutional rights, the waste of billions of dollars and an overwhelmed court system. After careful research and thought, they make a strong case for the legalization of drugs. It’s a radical idea, but has its time come?

The hidden and forbidden truth about America's failed war on drugs is explored in this eye-opening book. The authors present a complete look at the real and imagined dangers of drugs, and call for a rethinking of policy. "A clear, heavily documented statement of the argument for declaring peace in the war against drugs."--Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first part of this worthy book by Yale law professor Duke and California lawyer Gross reiterates powerful evidence about the abuse of legal drugs like alcohol, the failure of attempts at prohibition and the links between illegal drugs and our current crime wave. Adding a new layer of argument, the authors detail the costs to our criminal justice system, in which, they maintain, due process is regularly ignored. Duke and Gross make an intriguing case that the cost to individual autonomy posed by the prohibition of drugs is too high and they point out that ``almost any common activity produces abusers.'' Suggesting that reducing the drug supply is impossible and that eliminating demand through treatment and education, though a laudable goal, is equally impossible, the authors offer a sober assessment of the costs and benefits of legalization. Their proposal to legalize selected drugs, including cocaine and heroin, is based on an ultimate aim of ``responsible use'' akin to the country's policy toward alcohol. Only in the final page, however, do Duke and Gross acknowledge the importance of long-term solutions to the poverty and anomie that make the drug abuse problem in the cities so intractable. (Jan.)
Mary Carroll
Arguing that many of the social and economic costs popularly attributed to drug "use" are in fact consequences of drug "criminalization", Duke and Gross urge a policy of regulated legalization as the best way to minimize the harm drugs cause. Some of this material is familiar, but Duke and Gross marshal statistics and clinical studies effectively, moving from studies of the effects of specific legal and illegal drugs through a review of the historical approaches to drug use and an examination of the cost of prohibiting drugs--in terms of crime, freedom, autonomy, constitutional rights, health, and safety--to an explanation of reasons why the drug war can't succeed ("A `drug-free' society is no more attainable than a `sex-free' society") and a discussion of different forms of legalization. The harm-minimization approach Duke and Gross support emphasizes prevention and education, easy access to treatment, research and use of therapeutic drugs, public health programs to reduce the death and disease, and--like Elliott Currie's "Reckoning" --recognition that, among the poorest Americans, drug use will remain commonplace until the nation addresses basic issues of poverty, employment, housing, and health care. A clear, heavily documented statement of the argument for declaring peace in the war against drugs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781497612013
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 6/24/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • File size: 629 KB

Meet the Author

Steven B. Duke, LL.M has held the chair of Law of Science and Technology Professor at Yale Law School, where he has taught since 1961.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Preface
Ch. 1 An Overview: The Greater Evil 1
Ch. 2 Identifying the Enemy: "Drugs," "Drug Abuse" And Other Concepts 12
Ch. 3 Our Most Harmful Legal Drugs 22
Ch. 4 Our Most Popular Illegal Drugs 43
Ch. 5 Lessons from the Past 78
Ch. 6 The Crime Caused by Prohibition 103
Ch. 7 Freedom Costs 122
Ch. 8 Autonomy Costs 146
Ch. 9 Social Costs 160
Ch. 10 Health and Safety Costs 181
Ch. 11 The Drug War Cannot Succeed 200
Ch. 12 The Legalization Option 231
Ch. 13 Forms of Legalization 250
Ch. 14 A Harm Minimization Approach 279
Notes 307
Index 337
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    all the facts without the preconceived notions

    all the facts without the preconceived notions

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Callaway Schmidts

    This is a must read book!You'll never put it down ti'll it's over!


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2006

    Best book ever on this subject

    A scholarly but very readable analysis of the entire problem of drug prohibition, including its history, its absurdities, its hidden costs in crime, poor health and lost liberty, most of which are born by those who don't use illicit drugs.

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