Stoking the fires of drug controversy

David G Penington
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05027.x
Published online: 15 October 2002

The authors have a long record of challenging the current international philosophy of prohibition, stemming as it does from the muscular nationalism of Teddy Roosevelt, who convened the Shanghai Conference in 1909. That policy has been honed and developed with US leadership in successive international treaties of 1912, 1926, 1961, 1971 and 1988. Richard Nixon’s invention of the politically potent “War on Drugs” in 1972 is given attention in its Australian incarnation “Tough on Drugs”. The book is readable, rather than scholarly, and tells of the folly of this ideological commitment in terms of failed outcomes. Its assertions are not referenced, but the authors speak from a position of authority after years of contributing to the debate. It is an easy read.



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