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Drug Crazy: How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out Paperback – 29 Dec 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; First Printing edition (29 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415926475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415926478
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Everyone who is interested in a solution to our current irrational drug policy should read this book. --Wendell Dygert, Columbia City Post & Mail."

About the Author

Mike Gray, author of the screenplay for The China Syndrome, is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The Nation and Rolling Stone. In 1962, he formed his own film company in Chicago, which produced the award-winning documentaries American Revolution and The Murder of Fred Hampton. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
It's amazing that something as utterly futile and damaging to society as the war on drugs can be escalated year after year and receive so little resistance from the public at large. Our government seems obsessed with repeating the social disaster of alcohol prohibition on a much grander scale than in the 1920's. We've learned nothing in the past 80 years.
This book scares me. It provides insight into the lengths that our government will go to supress information, discussion, and research which even suggests that there might be workable common-sense alternatives to the War On Drugs. If the people that founded our country could see what's been done to their beloved Constitution in the name of "protecting society", they would be sick. In order to get tough on crime we need to eliminate the black-market and those criminals who become rich and powerful from it. LEGALIZATION - REGULATION - EDUCATION - REHABILITATION. These are our only hopes for a solution and anyone with even a basic understanding of the problem knows this. The War On Drugs is essentially a domestic Viet-Nam which is being fought against our own citizens.
Read this book and be afraid.......be very afraid.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
Adding to the praise submitted by the other readers I wish to point out that this book is also of great relevance to people outside US engaged in the quest for a more sane global society. Although, as Mr. Gray points out, the situation is somewhat better in some European countries, I must add that in many cases it is not. Here in Norway we have blindly adopted the US policy on drugs, and we are now paying the price. Comparing our alarmingly high death-rate among heroin-users in Oslo with numbers from Amsterdam or other big European cities practising a more humane policy towards drug-users, only serves to confirm Mr. Gray's reflections and facts about the futility of the "Holy Crusade" against drugs and its users.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Oct 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have recently finished reading an excellent book about what is probably the most important issue in America today, the War on Drugs. Titled "Drug Crazy" (How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out Of It) by Mike Gray, it is a candid expose of the political hot potato that presents a greater threat to the Bill of Rights than most people suspect. Well organized, almost conversationally written and thoroughly annotated, it is a fast read - hard to set down. I breezed through it in two days, and then spent a couple of hours on-line spot checking some of his citations. It's all there. This is not the raving of some conspiracy theorist; rather, it is an appeal to reason, a revealing look at the many sides of a complex issue that has been thus far addressed with only the most simplistic remedies. Read it. It could change your perspective on a lot of things. It is probably the most important book you will read this year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 July 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mike Gray's new book, "Drug Crazy," is tremendous. In some 200 pages he has told the story of America's War on Drugs, the whole 80 or so years of it, and it reads like a novel. I had to stop reading every once in a while, and look around the room at familiar things in order to bring myself back to reality. At least my reality.
America's escapades in drug policy sound like they were orchestrated by Robert Ludlum and Adolph Hitler, with considerable help from Samuel Becket. Having this laid out so clearly in only 200-odd pages makes a stunning impression. Gray wrote the screenplay for "The China Syndrome," a film about nuclear disaster. This time, he's taken on a far-worse disaster. Having it put together so well is a powerful thing. The characters in this national folly of ours are deftly drawn and have life. Not just another history book, this.
The columnist Thomas Sowell once said that the difference between a policy and a crusade is that a policy is judged by its results, while a crusade is judge by how good it makes its crusaders feel. Gray makes it obvious that we don't have a drug policy in this country; never did. We are on a crusade, and it's scary.
This little gem could be an important step in treating America's psychosis toward drugs. If it is widely read, it will be hard to believe that opposition to this insanity will not grow dramatically. This is a book to give to all those friends and family members who don't understand why you care about the Drug War. Not only will they have a good read; they will also finally come to understand the issue.
Gray says that when he writes, he always has a Mark Twain quote in mind: "Choosing the right word is the difference between 'lightning' and a 'lightning bug.' His book is definitely lightning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Kristensen on 29 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
This book, more than anything, raises the readers' consciousness to the realities of politics and cultural and personal sentiment. If you are like me and you like to get bogged down into the finer details of whether cannabis causes schizophrenia or not, you may benefit immensely from this book, lest you end up being one of those reasonable scientists that gets your naive butt steamrolled by crazy politicians and others on a crusade against drugs.

His book is so good at catching those extremely pivotal, and often accidental events that happen to shape the world to no end. The story of Anslingers unholy oligarchy of drug companies and the idiotic and incredibly unlucky quaalude incident in Jimmi Carters administration come to mind. You just can't help to think "what if...?" just like in the movie "The Butterfly Effect". Those pivotal events are just SO big!

He also captures the opinions and sentiments that were going on in those early 1900's. It is absolutely important that we understand how people FELT about these things, what they thought (no matter how wrong) and how such crucial mistakes and feelings helped give us the world we have today.

If you're a scientist at heart you will - at the end of this book - know how to begin breaking this evil spell. And it's not just by doing your science properly, no you gotta get out there and debunk the crazy, uncontested claims made my all those drug czars. If anything the Drug War has thrived on uncontested claims by a series of unscrupulous drug czars and presidents.

Some would perhaps criticize Mike Gray for not being more "scientific" or wading through all sorts of sociological models.
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