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On the 75th anniversary of the Harrison Narcotic Act that unleashed the federal anti-drug crusade, historian Richard Lawrence Miller explores the origins, purposes, and effects of America's drug war. Thoroughly documented, The Case for Legalizing Drugs assembles diverse findings by chemists, biologists, pharmacologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, prosecutors, police officers, and drug users themselves. The resulting mosaic argues that most problems associated with illicit drugs are caused by laws restricting them. This book is a realistic appraisal of legalization, vital to anyone concerned about illicit drugs, public policy, and democracy. Despite the ineffectiveness and counterproductivity of anti-drug laws, enthusiasm grows for them. Laws that fail to eliminate drugs may nonetheless achieve hidden goals. Miller illuminates those goals and asks whether they are wise. Although drug war proponents may complain that civil liberties interfere with drug suppression, Miller argues that the answer is not less democracy, but more. He presents a message of hope and healing, based upon a century of scientific research and historical experience, and declares that legalization would not be a surrender to drugs, but liberation from them.
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