Cover image for Why our drug laws have failed and what we can do about it : a judicial indictment of the War on Drugs
Title:
Why our drug laws have failed and what we can do about it : a judicial indictment of the War on Drugs
Author:
Gray, James P., 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
x, 272 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781566398596

9781566398602
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HV5825 .G6954 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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East Delavan Branch Library HV5825 .G6954 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Our drug prohibition policy is hopeless, just as Prohibition, our alcohol prohibition policy, was before it. Today there are more drugs in our communities and at lower prices and higher strengths than ever before. We have built large numbers of prisons, but they are overflowing with non-violent drug offenders. The huge profits made from drug sales are corrupting people and institutions here and abroad. And far from being protected by our drug prohibition policy, our children are being recruited by it to a lifestyle of drug use and drug selling. Judge Gray's book drives a stake through the heart of the War on Drugs. After documenting the wide-ranging harms caused by this falled policy, Judge Gray also gives us hope. We have viable options. The author evaluates these options, ranging from education and drug treatment to different strategies for taking the profit out of drug-dealing. Many officials will not say publicly what they acknowledge privately about the failure of the War on Drugs. Politicians especially are afraid of not appearing tough on drugs. But Judge Gray's conclusions as a veteran trial judge and former federal prosecutor are reinforced by the testimonies of more tha


Summary

Our drug prohibition policy is hopeless, just as Prohibition, our alcohol prohibition policy, was before it. Today there are more drugs in our communities and at lower prices and higher strengths than ever before.



We have built large numbers of prisons, but they are overflowing with non-violent drug offenders. The huge profits made from drug sales are corrupting people and institutions here and abroad. And far from being protected by our drug prohibition policy, our children are being recruited by it to a lifestyle of drug use and drug selling.



Judge Gray's book drives a stake through the heart of the War on Drugs. After documenting the wide-ranging harms caused by this failed policy, Judge Gray also gives us hope. We have viable options. The author evaluates these options, ranging from education and drug treatment to different strategies for taking the profit out of drug-dealing.



Many officials will not say publicly what they acknowledge privately about the failure of the War on Drugs. Politicians especially are afraid of not appearing "tough on drugs." But Judge Gray's conclusions as a veteran trial judge and former federal prosecutor are reinforced by the testimonies of more than forty other judges nationwide.


Author Notes

James P. Gray is Judge of the Superior Court in Orange County in Southern California. He has served as former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and as a criminal defense attorney as a member of the JAG Corps in the Navy. In 1998 he made an unsuccessful run for Congress as a Republican against Bob Dornan. Judge Gray has discussed issues of drug policy on more than one hundred radio and TV shows and numerous drug forums around the country.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

As provocative and topical as the film Traffic, here's a scathing jeremiad against the war on drugs, notable both for the author's position and for the sustained anger of its argument. Following his career as a federal prosecutor and a trial judge, Gray, now a California Superior Court justice, is struck by the revelation that the so-called war on drugs was "wasting unimaginable amounts of our tax dollars, increasing crime and despair and severely and unnecessarily harming people's lives... the worst of all worlds." He effectively documents a growing coalition of often conservative lawyers, legislators and justices who view the drug war's impotent dream of national abstinence as folly and its shadow effects (from imprisonment of nonviolent offenders to diversion of law enforcement resources) as dangers to liberty. Gray writes with the courage of his convictions, bluntly addressing the most controversial elements of the drug war. For example, he asserts that politicians offer slavish loyalty to the drug war because it is "fundable," not because it is winnable. Similarly, Gray details how drug prosecutions have both whittled away at constitutional protections and corrupted many police agencies. He even takes the radical step of humanizing drug users. Without assuming a libertarian stance, he establishes that the risks to an individual who is determined to use drugs are dwarfed by the harm caused to the community by overaggressive policing and the criminal economy. Gray's crisp prose is mercifully short on legalese, and his book has the structural clarity of an accessible legal text. This quality, and the sensible passion of Gray's conclusions, will make this a crucial reference for those politicians, voters, activists and law enforcement agencies seeking to reform established policy. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

Gray, a judge in Orange County, California since 1983, presents a convincing attack on US drug policies. He examines the negative costs of illegal drugs to society as well as the negative costs of the "War on Drugs." Judge Gray analyzes the costs of the war on civil liberties as it erodes basic protections of the Bill of Rights. In addition, he looks at the increased harm done by our present policy position to individuals who suffer from some form of addictive syndrome disorder. The author presents convincing essays regarding the costs and benefits of the US drug policies and their impact on federalism and the "De-Profitization of Drugs." His work is a thoughtful and reflective volume on an issue (all too often used by unscrupulous politicians) that appeals to the visceral rather than the logical. Endorsed by such luminaries as Milton Friedman, William Buckley, George Shultz et al, Why Our Drugs Laws Failed is a refreshing gulp of fresh air. It should interest a wide variety of political scientists, sociologists, and individuals concerned with law, criminal justice, and the negative impacts of the war on minority communities. All levels. J. S. Robey University of Texas at Brownsville


Publisher's Weekly Review

As provocative and topical as the film Traffic, here's a scathing jeremiad against the war on drugs, notable both for the author's position and for the sustained anger of its argument. Following his career as a federal prosecutor and a trial judge, Gray, now a California Superior Court justice, is struck by the revelation that the so-called war on drugs was "wasting unimaginable amounts of our tax dollars, increasing crime and despair and severely and unnecessarily harming people's lives... the worst of all worlds." He effectively documents a growing coalition of often conservative lawyers, legislators and justices who view the drug war's impotent dream of national abstinence as folly and its shadow effects (from imprisonment of nonviolent offenders to diversion of law enforcement resources) as dangers to liberty. Gray writes with the courage of his convictions, bluntly addressing the most controversial elements of the drug war. For example, he asserts that politicians offer slavish loyalty to the drug war because it is "fundable," not because it is winnable. Similarly, Gray details how drug prosecutions have both whittled away at constitutional protections and corrupted many police agencies. He even takes the radical step of humanizing drug users. Without assuming a libertarian stance, he establishes that the risks to an individual who is determined to use drugs are dwarfed by the harm caused to the community by overaggressive policing and the criminal economy. Gray's crisp prose is mercifully short on legalese, and his book has the structural clarity of an accessible legal text. This quality, and the sensible passion of Gray's conclusions, will make this a crucial reference for those politicians, voters, activists and law enforcement agencies seeking to reform established policy. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

Gray, a judge in Orange County, California since 1983, presents a convincing attack on US drug policies. He examines the negative costs of illegal drugs to society as well as the negative costs of the "War on Drugs." Judge Gray analyzes the costs of the war on civil liberties as it erodes basic protections of the Bill of Rights. In addition, he looks at the increased harm done by our present policy position to individuals who suffer from some form of addictive syndrome disorder. The author presents convincing essays regarding the costs and benefits of the US drug policies and their impact on federalism and the "De-Profitization of Drugs." His work is a thoughtful and reflective volume on an issue (all too often used by unscrupulous politicians) that appeals to the visceral rather than the logical. Endorsed by such luminaries as Milton Friedman, William Buckley, George Shultz et al, Why Our Drugs Laws Failed is a refreshing gulp of fresh air. It should interest a wide variety of political scientists, sociologists, and individuals concerned with law, criminal justice, and the negative impacts of the war on minority communities. All levels. J. S. Robey University of Texas at Brownsville


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