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Saying yes : in defense of drug use

Author: Jacob Sullum
Publisher: New York : J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The contradiction between what the government says and what drug users know has become increasingly difficult to maintain in recent years. During the Clinton Administration, the government continued to arrest people, at a rate of about 700,000 a year, for doing (or helping others do) what the president had joked about on MTV. "Drugs will destroy you," George W. Bush told audiences during his campaign for the 2000  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Sullum, Jacob.
Saying yes.
New York : J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, ©2003
(OCoLC)606979994
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jacob Sullum
ISBN: 1585422274 9781585422272
OCLC Number: 50906209
Description: 340 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Chapter 1 Chemical Reactions 31 --
Chapter 2 Strong Drink 54 --
Chapter 3 Going Nowhere 100 --
Chapter 4 Crazy, Man 136 --
Chapter 5 Random Sex Acts 168 --
Chapter 6 Killer Drugs 192 --
Chapter 7 Too Good 221 --
Chapter 8 Body and Soul 249 --
Conclusion: Managing Moderation 271.
Responsibility: Jacob Sullum.
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Abstract:

"The contradiction between what the government says and what drug users know has become increasingly difficult to maintain in recent years. During the Clinton Administration, the government continued to arrest people, at a rate of about 700,000 a year, for doing (or helping others do) what the president had joked about on MTV. "Drugs will destroy you," George W. Bush told audiences during his campaign for the 2000 Republican nomination, all the while presenting a living refutation of that claim. Even Attorney General John Ashcroft, who abstains from alcohol and tobacco on religious grounds, explained his support of the beer industry while a Missouri senator this way: "It's a product that is in demand. And when it's used responsibly, it's like other products." The central premise of Saying Yes is that illegal drugs, used responsibly by millions of Americans, can rightly be viewed the same way." "Jacob Sullum builds a case for drug use as a legitimate and responsible choice made by respected people from all walks of life. Saying Yes shows that excess is the exception among drug users, just as it is among drinkers, and refutes "voodoo pharmacology"--The idea that drugs make people do evil. The book goes to the roots of Western attitudes toward intoxication with a surprising recapitulation of traditional religious and ethical ideas endorsing temperance rather than abstinence as the right approach to psychoactive substances." "Emphasizing controlled use may strike some as insensitive, if not irresponsible. After all, many people do have serious problems with drugs, problems that disrupt their lives and cause anguish to their families and friends. But Saying Yes argues that the conventional understanding of addiction, which portrays it as a kind of chemical slavery that is virtually inevitable once someone starts using a drug, is fundamentally misleading. Surveying the data on drugs such as heroin, crack, and methamphetamine, Sullum shows that government agencies, anti-drug activists, and the news media have grossly exaggerated the power of these substances." "Many people are willing to concede that the war on drugs has been a failure, and a growing number of citizens are openly calling for reform. But reformers will make little progress as long as they agree with the defenders of the status quo that drug use is always wrong. The assumption that some drugs cannot be used responsibly is one of the biggest obstacles to serious reform. Saying Yes rejects the idea that there is something inherently wrong with using chemicals to alter one's mood or mind, arguing that the black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking that has long dominated discussions of illegal drug use should give way to a wiser, subtler approach with deep roots in Western culture."--Jacket.

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    schema:reviewBody ""The contradiction between what the government says and what drug users know has become increasingly difficult to maintain in recent years. During the Clinton Administration, the government continued to arrest people, at a rate of about 700,000 a year, for doing (or helping others do) what the president had joked about on MTV. "Drugs will destroy you," George W. Bush told audiences during his campaign for the 2000 Republican nomination, all the while presenting a living refutation of that claim. Even Attorney General John Ashcroft, who abstains from alcohol and tobacco on religious grounds, explained his support of the beer industry while a Missouri senator this way: "It's a product that is in demand. And when it's used responsibly, it's like other products." The central premise of Saying Yes is that illegal drugs, used responsibly by millions of Americans, can rightly be viewed the same way." "Jacob Sullum builds a case for drug use as a legitimate and responsible choice made by respected people from all walks of life. Saying Yes shows that excess is the exception among drug users, just as it is among drinkers, and refutes "voodoo pharmacology"--The idea that drugs make people do evil. The book goes to the roots of Western attitudes toward intoxication with a surprising recapitulation of traditional religious and ethical ideas endorsing temperance rather than abstinence as the right approach to psychoactive substances." "Emphasizing controlled use may strike some as insensitive, if not irresponsible. After all, many people do have serious problems with drugs, problems that disrupt their lives and cause anguish to their families and friends. But Saying Yes argues that the conventional understanding of addiction, which portrays it as a kind of chemical slavery that is virtually inevitable once someone starts using a drug, is fundamentally misleading. Surveying the data on drugs such as heroin, crack, and methamphetamine, Sullum shows that government agencies, anti-drug activists, and the news media have grossly exaggerated the power of these substances." "Many people are willing to concede that the war on drugs has been a failure, and a growing number of citizens are openly calling for reform. But reformers will make little progress as long as they agree with the defenders of the status quo that drug use is always wrong. The assumption that some drugs cannot be used responsibly is one of the biggest obstacles to serious reform. Saying Yes rejects the idea that there is something inherently wrong with using chemicals to alter one's mood or mind, arguing that the black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking that has long dominated discussions of illegal drug use should give way to a wiser, subtler approach with deep roots in Western culture."--Jacket." ;
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