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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684809605, Hardcover)"When, back in 1988, the New York Review of Books sent me to Columbia to write about the Latin American cocaine trade," notes Michael Massing, a contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and 1992 recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, "I had little notion that the issue of drugs would engross me for so many years." The "War on Drugs," arguably, has been the United States' most futile and expensive social campaign. In 1998, the federal drug budget was more than $17 billion--over ten times its 1981 allocation--and yet the corresponding population of drug offenders in the nation's state and federal prisons has increased tenfold within that same period. What to do?
The Fix makes a case for the return of the community-based drug treatment clinic model that was a cornerstone of U.S. drug policy under Richard Nixon. While Nixon's personal distaste for illegal drugs may have been most evident in his decision to ignore evidence indicating that marijuana use did not lead irreparably to harder drugs, his pragmatism helped him recognize that the problem of narcotics was far more cost-effectively approached as a health issue rather than one strictly of law enforcement. In a narrative that alternates between descriptions of a drug-ridden neighborhood in Harlem and policy makers in the nation's capital, Massing compellingly argues that the most effective battle against addiction is the creation and maintenance of a comprehensive national treatment system. --Patrizia DiLucchio
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)
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