Cover image for Drugs and drug policy in America : a documentary history
Drugs and drug policy in America : a documentary history
Belenko, Steven R.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxxiv, 380 pages ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV5825 .D7884 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Debates over the use and abuse of drugs, the laws controlling drugs in this country, and the question of whether or not certain drugs should be legally available have inflamed Americans since the 19th-century, and continue to flourish as America attempts to rage its war on drugs. Students can trace the history and development of these arguments, as well as the reactions to them, through this unique collection of over 250 primary documents. Court cases, speeches, laws, opinion pieces, and other documents bring to life the controversies surrounding the issues. Explanatory introductions to documents aid users in understanding the various arguments put forth, while illuminating the significance of each document.

Belenko traces the origins and changes in the nature of drug use and abuse in this country, as well as drug policy. Students can follow the evolution of the laws that have limited access to drugs such as cocaine and opium that were once legal in this country, as well as read the differing opinions in recent history on whether or not certain drugs such as marijuana ought to be legally available. The carefully chosen documents reflect the fact that our government's decisions have not always ended public controversy about how to deal with drug related problems and the very real consequences of addiction. The introductory and explanatory text help readers understand the nature of the conflicts, the issues being litigated, the social and cultural pressures that have shaped the debates, and the manner in which the passions of individual people have affected our drug policies.

Author Notes

Steven R. Belenko is Senior Research Associate at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University. He is the author of Crack and the Evolution of Drug Policy (Greenwood, 1993).

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Contains more than 270 documents dealing with drugs and U.S. drug policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. xxv
Acknowledgmentsp. xxvii
Introductionp. xxix
Significant Dates in the History of American Drug Policyp. xxxiii
Part I American Drug Policy in the 19th Centuryp. 1
Development of Hypodermic Injectionp. 7
Spread of Opiate Usep. 10
Opium Smokingp. 13
Cocaine in the 19th Centuryp. 18
Discovery of Heroinp. 25
Part II The Early Expansion of Federal Drug Controlp. 29
Part III The Harrison Actp. 47
Effects of the Harrison Act on Addictsp. 53
Enforcement of the Harrison Actp. 61
Part IV Supreme Court Decisions on the Harrison Actp. 67
Part V Overview of State Anti-Drug Lawsp. 99
Early State Anti-Drug Lawsp. 99
Uniform or Model State Drug Lawsp. 108
State Marijuana Lawsp. 113
State Laws in the 1950sp. 114
State Laws Since the 1970sp. 116
Part VI Marijuana Policy: The Early Yearsp. 123
Marijuana in the 19th Centuryp. 125
The Early 20th Centuryp. 131
Federal Officials Take Notice: The 1937 Marihuana Tax Actp. 143
Part VII American Drug Policy to World War IIp. 161
Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Actp. 162
Narcotic Farmsp. 166
The Federal Bureau of Narcoticsp. 173
Part VIII Drug Policy from World War II Through the 1950s: The Escalation of Punishmentp. 183
The Problems of Drug Smuggling and Teen Drug Abusep. 183
The Boggs Act and the Eisenhower Committeep. 195
The Debate Over Punitive Drug Laws and the 1956 Narcotic Control Actp. 199
Part IX The Medicalization of Addiction: Drug Treatment and Anti-Drug Policyp. 211
Addiction "Cures" in the 19th Centuryp. 212
Drug Treatment From 1900 to 1930p. 219
The Discovery of Methadonep. 242
Expansion of Drug Treatment Since the 1950sp. 245
Part X Drug Policy in the 1960s and 1970s: A Changing Viewp. 255
Civil Commitment Lawsp. 262
Lsd in the 1960sp. 270
The Nixon Administration, the Vietnam War, and the 1970 Drug Control Actp. 276
The Ford and Reagan Administrationsp. 284
Part XI Marijuana Policy after the 1960sp. 287
Revisiting Harsh Marijuana Lawsp. 287
New Federal Crackdowns on Marijuanap. 290
National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abusep. 293
Medical Marijuanap. 299
Part XII Crack Cocaine and Drug Policy from the 1980sp. 305
Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986p. 306
Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988p. 315
The National Drug Control Strategiesp. 325
Supreme Court Decisions on "No-Knock" Lawsp. 330
Part XIII The Debate over Drug Legalizationp. 335
Historical Overviewp. 335
The Arguments for Legalizationp. 348
The Harm Reduction Approachp. 354
The Arguments Against Legalizationp. 356
Would Legalization Increase Drug Use?p. 360
A Middle Ground?p. 364
Suggested Readingsp. 371
Indexp. 373