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Written by a team of veteran drug researchers in medicine, law, and the social sciences, this book provides the most comprehensive, penetrating, and original analysis of the crack problem to date. It reviews the social pharmacology of crack and offers rich ethnographic case studies of crack binging, addiction, and sales. It explores crack's different impacts on whites, blacks, the middle class, and the poor, and explains why crack was always much less of a problem in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and The Netherlands.
Crack in America helps readers understand why the United States has the most repressive, expensive, and yet least effective drug policy in the Western world. It discusses the ways politicians and the media generated the crack scare as the centerpiece of the War on Drugs. It catalogues the costs of the War on Drugs for civil liberties, situates crack use and sales in the political economy of the inner cities in the 1980s, and shows how the drug war led to the most massive wave of imprisonment in U.S. history. Finally, it explains why the failures of drug prohibition have led to the emergence of the harm reduction movement and other opposition forces that are changing the face of U.S. drug policy.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Crack (Drug) United States, Cocaine habit United States, Narcotics, Control of United States, Drugs and mass media United States