Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out

Michael Gray, Author, Mike Gray, Author
Michael Gray, Author, Mike Gray, Author Random House (NY) $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-679-43533-4
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Arguing that the federal government's $300-billion campaign to eradicate drug use over the last 15 years has been a total failure, Gray calls for legalization of drugs and government regulation of their sale, with doctors writing prescriptions to addicts. Although he scants specifics as to how this would work and the potential consequences, his outspoken brief for decriminalization is bolstered by a revealing history of drug use in America. A Hollywood screenwriter, TV producer and director, Gray brings a filmic sense of drama and action to a gritty, scorching look at the failure of America's war on drugs. As he jump-cuts from Al Capone's syndicate in Prohibition-era Chicago to the abortive Reagan/Bush campaign to control Latin American drug traffic, Gray maintains that hardcore addicts, a small minority of drug users, have served as a scapegoat for politicians and lawmakers, with the nation's ""moral focus"" selectively shifting from opium and morphine in the first two decades of this century, to alcohol, then to marijuana in the early 1930s, to crack cocaine today. ""It would seem that if Americans are to have any say at all in what their teenagers are exposed to,"" he concludes, ""they will have to take the drug market out of the hands of the Tijuana Cartel and Gangster Disciples, and put it back in the hands of doctors and pharmacists where it was before 1914."" Author tour. (June)
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