Cops and Doctors: The Hidden Drug War

Siobhan Reynolds’ most recent guest post to this blog does an outstanding job of making the case that we (meaning both society writ large and the medical profession more generally) have utterly failed to address problems of chronic pain, and that these failures have a great deal to do with “the context of drug prohibition.”Continue reading “Cops and Doctors: The Hidden Drug War”

Getting Relief in Wartime: Opioids, Pain Management, and the War on Drugs

In her second guest post for Points, pain relief activist Siobhan Reynolds looks at the ways in which drug war hysteria has warped public and political perceptions of pain management prescribing practices.   On April 20, the FDA, the DEA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, along with a host of other federalContinue reading “Getting Relief in Wartime: Opioids, Pain Management, and the War on Drugs”

“We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges!”

In a strange twist in the history of international drug interdiction, three West African drug traffickers have through their attorneys in New York Federal Court openly acknowledged that they are in the global business of distributing cocaine.  According to a story, “Admitting Clients Are Drug Traffickers, but Denying Guilt,”  in the New York Times AprilContinue reading ““We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges!””

American Drug History, The Box Set

Over at the blog Mexican Opium, Mikelis Beitiks has began to assemble a “Wordtrack” on the history of American drug law–a kind of “greatest hits” collection of published work in the field. He has completed Disc 1 and Disc 2, and I’m fully confident that–given enough time on Beitiks’ part–he could assemble a nice boxContinue reading “American Drug History, The Box Set”

Are Drug Traffickers Re-Colonizing Africa?

In 2009 the West African country of Guinea Bissau made a rare and brief appearance in the international media when, in the early hours of March 2nd, President Vieira was assassinated—apparently at the hands of units of the military.  Only hours before, the head of the army, Gen. Tagme Na Waie, had been killed; theContinue reading “Are Drug Traffickers Re-Colonizing Africa?”

Capitalism + Dope = Genocide

Lunchtime once again finds me browsing around online, and I’ve stumbled across Michael “Cetewayo” Tabor’s famous 1970 pamphlet “Capitalism + Dope= Genocide”, published by  the New York Black Panther Party.  This is a document from a very specific stratum of anti-drug discourse: a populist anti-drug message grounded in political economy and in the race andContinue reading “Capitalism + Dope = Genocide”

Disconnect: Moral Liberalization and Mass Incarceration

Note: The following is David Courtwright’s thoughtful response to my earlier post, in which I raised some questions about his recent work. Joe Spillane has identified a central paradox of recent American history. Why were the prisons filling up, particularly with drug offenders, when legislatures and courts were liberalizing policies on divorce, Sunday liquor sales,Continue reading “Disconnect: Moral Liberalization and Mass Incarceration”

Quaalude: The one that didn’t get away?

I was talking to a 67-year old relative about Quaalude at a recent family event. (Does this sort of thing happen to you all the time too, or is it just me?) I know her to be a friendly skeptic on the subject of drugs, and she has made it clear that she never usedContinue reading “Quaalude: The one that didn’t get away?”

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