Remembering Civil Rights Lawyer Samuel Carter McMorris and his Fight Against Unjust Drug Laws & Police Brutality

Editor’s Note: Today’s post in honor of Black History Month comes from contributing editor Sarah Brady Siff, a visiting assistant professor at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, in affiliation with the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC). In 1962, the United States Supreme Court struck down California’s “narcotics addict” law in theContinue reading “Remembering Civil Rights Lawyer Samuel Carter McMorris and his Fight Against Unjust Drug Laws & Police Brutality”

Cocaine in 1980s America: Fine for the Wealthy & Well-Educated; Bad for the Poor

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Brooks Hudson, a PhD student in history at Southern Illinois University. The years directly preceding the American “crack epidemic” of the 1980s are worth re-examining. Cocaine was by no means new, and people had been using and sometimes smoking, or freebasing, the drug for years. In the earlyContinue reading “Cocaine in 1980s America: Fine for the Wealthy & Well-Educated; Bad for the Poor”

SHAD Interview: “The Drug War Dialectic in Early Twentieth-Century Chicago” with Richard Del Rio

Editor’s Note: Points continues its series of interviews with authors from the latest issue of ADHS’s journal Social History of Alcohol and Drugs (vol. 34, no. 2; Fall 2020), published by the University of Chicago Press. Today we feature Dr. Richard Del Rio, a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow within the Department of Behavioral Science and SocialContinue reading “SHAD Interview: “The Drug War Dialectic in Early Twentieth-Century Chicago” with Richard Del Rio”

Could the Supreme Court’s Forfeiture Ruling Help End the Drug Wars?

Did the Supreme Court unanimously de-escalate the drug wars last month? The optimist in me says “yes,” and the historian in me agrees. In Timbs v. Indiana, the Court ruled that the state could not seize and forfeit the plaintiff’s Land Rover as a result of his drug conviction. While this decision alone will notContinue reading “Could the Supreme Court’s Forfeiture Ruling Help End the Drug Wars?”

The Points Interview: Scott Jacques

Editor’s Note: In this installment of the Points author interview series, Georgia State University criminologist Scott Jacques discusses his new book, Code of the Suburb: Inside the World of Young Middle-Class Drug Dealers (co-authored with Richard Wright). Contact Dr. Jacques at sjacques1@gsu.edu.  1. Describe your book in terms your bartender could understand. A young, whiteContinue reading “The Points Interview: Scott Jacques”

Teaching Points: Teaching the “So What?” in “Marijuana in American History”

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes to you courtesy of Seth Blumenthal, a Lecturer at Boston University. Contact the author at sblument@bu.edu. In 1994, the president of the Modern Language Association, Patricia Meyers Spacks, outlined the need to consider “So what?” in higher education. “We get a bad press these days … many believe that weContinue reading “Teaching Points: Teaching the “So What?” in “Marijuana in American History””

Conference Summary: “I’ve Been to Dwight,” July 14-18, 2016, Dwight, IL

Editor’s Note: This conference summary is brought to you by David Korostyshevsky, a doctoral student in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He traveled to Dwight, Illinois, in mid-July to attend the ADHS off-year “I’ve Been to Dwight” conference, and has provided this account of his time there. ThanksContinue reading “Conference Summary: “I’ve Been to Dwight,” July 14-18, 2016, Dwight, IL”

The 30th Anniversary of Len Bias’s Death

This may be hard to believe, but June 19th will mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Len Bias. The University of Maryland all-star and first-round pick for the Boston Celtics died two days after the NBA draft after overdosing on powder cocaine. His death was partially responsible for the passage of the Anti-DrugContinue reading “The 30th Anniversary of Len Bias’s Death”

Drug War Dissents: Robinson v. California

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by Dr. David Herzberg, as associate professor of history at SUNY Buffalo and the author of Happy Pills in America (2010) and his forthcoming project The Other Drug War: A History of Prescription Drug Abuse. Enjoy!  Most American drug policy historians are familiar with the 1962 Supreme Court decision Robinson v. California,Continue reading “Drug War Dissents: Robinson v. California”

“Doubleplusungood” – NORML’s Prisoners of War on the Front Lines of Sentencing Reform

In the early nineties, a woman from Alabama, responding to a prisoner survey conducted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) on behalf of her incarcerated husband mused, “…someday, [marijuana] will be legal. Maybe there will be a lot of non-violent people released from the Government and bac [sic] to theirContinue reading ““Doubleplusungood” – NORML’s Prisoners of War on the Front Lines of Sentencing Reform”

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