An Important, Accessible New Book on Drug Policy

Three leading drug policy analysts, including RBC’s own Mark Kleiman, have produced an extremely user-friendly overview of the field entitled Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know.

The book is structured as a sort of Socratic dialogue, with a series of questions ranging from those involving basic knowledge (e.g., “What is a drug?”, “Didn’t Holland legalise cannabis?”) to more abstruse concepts (e.g., “What is behavioral triage”) to philosophical/ethical concerns (e.g., “Why should mere pleasure count as a benefit?”, “Why do arguments about drug policy get so irrational and so mean-spirited?”). The answers are brief, clearly-written and down-to-earth. No one will agree with all the answers given but that’s a feature, not a bug.

Congratulations to Mark as well as Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken for writing a fine book that deserves a wide audience.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

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