Cover image for Legalizing marijuana : drug policy reform and prohibition politics
Legalizing marijuana : drug policy reform and prohibition politics
Gerber, Rudolph J. (Rudolph Joseph), 1938-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2004]

Physical Description:
xix, 188 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV5822.M3 G47 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book is a frontal assault on the federal government's almost century-long campaign against marijuana in all its forms--cultivation, growing, selling, and recreational and medicinal use. Beginning with the anti-pot campaign of the first unofficial drug czar, Harry Anslinger, in the 1930s and continuing wiht only minor differences in emphasis through the recent Reagan, Clinton, and two Bush administrations, federal efforts to stamp out every form of marijuana use involve ignoring the independent reports of numerous federal commissions; supporting provably false claims about marijuana's effects; acquiescing to conservative law enforcement and religious groups' condemnatory agendas; generating a climate of fear in the electorate in order to cultivate messianic images for politicians; and ultimately governing in a way that does a disservice to all involved.

Author Notes

Rudolph J. Gerber is a retired appellate judge who served on the Arizona Court of Appeals until 2001 and he is also on the faculty of the School of Justice Studies at Arizona State University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Gerber, a retired Arizona state judge, is currently associated with Arizona State University. His volume is a broad-scale attack on US drug policy regarding marijuana. The author draws on his 22 years of experience as a judge to conclude that the prohibition of pot is "the worst injustice perpetrated by our frayed criminal justice policy in the twenty first century." Gerber provides an overview of the evolution of drug policies from colonial America (George Washington) and Victorian England to the present. Attention is placed on the rise of prohibition and racist basis for that prohibition. The first drug czar, Harry Anslinger, associated marijuana with Negroes, Mexicans, jazz, and a "lust for blood." Most of the volume focuses on the presidential policies of the executive branch from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush and on the medicinal marijuana issue. This volume is well written and documented. It comes as a breath of fresh air amid a policy issue that is so often dealt with in an emotional and irrational way--a sane counterpoint to the emotional venting of the pharmaceutical Calvinists. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. J. S. Robey University of Texas at Brownsville

Table of Contents

John Sperling
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. xv
1 History of Demonizing Drugsp. 1
2 Presidential Pot Policiesp. 17
3 Enforcement Practicesp. 61
4 Health Effectsp. 77
5 Seeds of the Medical Marijuana Movementp. 91
6 The People's Counterattackp. 105
7 The Medical-Legal Conflictp. 121
8 Conclusion: Lessons in Political Unsciencep. 135
Notesp. 155
Bibliographyp. 173
Indexp. 183