Selected Bibliography

Selected bibliography

There are numerous books out there about psychoactive substances or the war on drugs. I would like to recommend some of my favorites:

The war on drugs

“Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed: A Judicial Indictment Of the War On Drugs” by Judge James P. Gray

Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places (RAND Studies in Policy Analysis) by Robert J. MacCoun and Peter Reuter

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy by Matthew B. Robinson and Renee G. Scherlen

Innocent Bystanders: Developing Countries and the War on Drugs, Philip Keefer, Norman Loayza – This World Bank report can also be downloaded from

Drugs: America’s Holy War, Arthur Benavie

Legalization Debate

“The Legalization of Drugs (For and Against)” by Doug Husak and Peter de Marneffe, Cambridge University Press, Sep 12, 2005

David R. Bewley-Taylor, “Challenging the UN drug control conventions: problems and possibilities”, International Journal of Drug Policy 14 (2003).

The Beckley Foundation, Global Cannabis Convention Report, Extended Summary, 2010

Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate by Robin Room, Benedikt Fischer, Wayne Hall and Simon Lenton (Mar 26, 2010)

Psychoactive substances

Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse by Paul M. Gahlinger

Sinead O’Mahony Carey, (2010) Psychoactive substances: a guide to ethnobotanical plants and herbs, synthetic chemicals, compounds and products. Health Service Executive South.

Neuroscience – Addiction

WHO – “Neuroscience of psychoactive substance use and dependence”

Stanton Peele, “The Meaning of Addiction: An Unconventional View”, Aug 14, 1998

History of drugs and the war on drugs

The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics by R. P. T. Davenport-Hines

Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World by David T. Courtwright

A Brief History of Drugs: From the Stone Age to the Stoned Age by Antonio Escohotado and Ken Symington

Paul Gootenberg, “Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug”, The University of North Carolina Press, Jan 2, 2009

ACID DREAMS, THE COMPLETE SOCIAL HISTORY OF LSD: THE CIA, THE SIXTIES, AND BEYOND by Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain Copyright © 1985 by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain Introduction copyright © 1992 by Andrei Codrescu Afterword copyright © 1992 by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade by Alfred W. McCoy

Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion by Gary Webb and Maxine Waters

The Big White Lie: The Deep Cover Operation That Exposed the CIA Sabotage of the Drug War : An Undercover Odyssey by Michael Levine and Laura Kavanau-Levine

Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, by Radley Balko, Cato Institute, 2006

Mark Lawrence Schrad, “The Political Power of Bad Ideas: Networks, Institutions, and the Global Prohibition Wave,” Mar 24, 2010.

Reports and other documents of interest:

Mayor’s Committee on Marihuana, by the New York Academy of Medicine, “The La Guardia Committee Report: The Marihuana Problem in the City of New York,” City of New York, 1944.

Rufus King, “The drug hang-up: America’s fifty-year folly,” 1972

The Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding,” Commissioned by President Richard M. Nixon, March 1972.

Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, 37th Parliament, 1st Session, (January 29, 2001 – September 16, 2002) –

A cannabis reader: global issues and local experiences, EMCDDA, Lisbon, June 2008

The EMCDDA’s cannabis monograph addresses one basic question. How can I find quality information on cannabis, amid all the bias and opinion? The monograph is divided into two volumes. The first volume centres on political, legislative, commercial and social developments relating to cannabis. Its core audience thus comprises policymakers, sociologists, historians, journalists and those involved in enforcement. The second volume is targeted at drugs professionals working in the fields of treatment, prevention and healthcare.


(available at

Demand reduction and harm reduction – Dr. Alex Wodak

Drug policy, criminal justice and mass imprisonment- Bryan Stevenson

Assessing supply-side policy and practice: eradication and alternative development – David Mansfield

The development of international drug control: lessons learned and strategic challenges for the future Martin Jelsma

Drug policy: lessons learned and options for the future- Mike Trace

The drug trade: the politicization of criminals and the criminalization of politicians – Moisés Naím

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