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Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrongStock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrongStock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music festivals). Along the way, Grim discovers some surprising truths. Did anti-drug campaigns actually encourage more drug use? Did acid really disappear in the early 2000s? And did meth peak years ago? Did our Founding Fathers-or, better yet, their wives-get high just as much as we do? Traces the evolution of United States's long and twisted relationship with drugs Gives surprising answers to questions such as: how did heroin become popular, when did the meth epidemic peak, and has LSD gone the way of Quaaludes Based on solid reporting and wide-ranging research-including surveys, reports, historical accounts, and more Not since Eric Schlosser ventured underground to marijuana's black market in Reefer Madness has a reporter trained such a keen eye on drugs and culture. A powerful and often shocking history of one of our knottiest social and cultural problems, This is Your Country on Drugs leads you on a profound exploration of what it means to be an American.


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Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrongStock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrongStock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music festivals). Along the way, Grim discovers some surprising truths. Did anti-drug campaigns actually encourage more drug use? Did acid really disappear in the early 2000s? And did meth peak years ago? Did our Founding Fathers-or, better yet, their wives-get high just as much as we do? Traces the evolution of United States's long and twisted relationship with drugs Gives surprising answers to questions such as: how did heroin become popular, when did the meth epidemic peak, and has LSD gone the way of Quaaludes Based on solid reporting and wide-ranging research-including surveys, reports, historical accounts, and more Not since Eric Schlosser ventured underground to marijuana's black market in Reefer Madness has a reporter trained such a keen eye on drugs and culture. A powerful and often shocking history of one of our knottiest social and cultural problems, This is Your Country on Drugs leads you on a profound exploration of what it means to be an American.

30 review for This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    This is an important, sweeping history and condemnation of the War on Drugs, full of real-world anecdotes and statistics to back up the premise that every time the government or prohibition movements manage to crack down on one substance, Americans shift to using another, making "progress" in prohibition impossible. The chapters on the hypocrisy of U.S. global policy vis-à-vis U.S. drug policy to be especially thought provoking--(e.g., evidence the CIA aided and abetted opium/heroin traffickers This is an important, sweeping history and condemnation of the War on Drugs, full of real-world anecdotes and statistics to back up the premise that every time the government or prohibition movements manage to crack down on one substance, Americans shift to using another, making "progress" in prohibition impossible. The chapters on the hypocrisy of U.S. global policy vis-à-vis U.S. drug policy to be especially thought provoking--(e.g., evidence the CIA aided and abetted opium/heroin traffickers in Laos in the 60s-70s, aided and abetted cocaine traffickers in Latin America in the 80s by working with the Contras, and the U.S. military turning an intentional blind eye to opium use and trafficking in Afghanistan today--even though the narcotics trade funds the Taliban). As entertaining as it was informative, I found myself laughing out loud page after page. My one fairly significant complaint is Mr. Grim's laissez-faire approach to source attribution. Although this book is brim-full of statistics, there are no footnotes, endnotes, or even a bibliography. The 250-page book is followed by a 3-page "Notes" section that provides references to major sources in only glancing detail, but without anything approaching the specificity a reader would need to go look up the source on one's own. I suspect this stems from Grim's background as a journalist: no one wants their newspaper all cluttered up with footnotes and parentheticals, of course. However, a serious academic endeavor such as a full-length book requires far more detailed source attribution. In the "Notes" section and at several points in the text, Grim writes that he will post links to sources--particularly the numerous studies from which he gleans his many statistics--on his website, [..], but as of this posting, he has not done so. My own experience and world view make me predisposed to agree with most of Grim's theories, but the lack of attribution leaves me skeptical: I fear that those who support the country's current drug policies will point to the lack of citation (as well as Grim's unapologetic narratives of his own drug experiences) to undercut the legitimacy of his argument, and that would be a shame.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Book

    This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim "This Is Your Country on Drugs..." is the interesting history of getting high in America. "Gonzo" journalist Ryan Grim takes us on a first person tour through many interesting topics covering the impact of policies on the drug use of Americans and why it has been an utter failure. The book is composed of following fourteen chapters: 1. The Acid Casualty, 2. A Pharmacopoeia Utopia, 3. Prohibition, Inc., 4. A This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim "This Is Your Country on Drugs..." is the interesting history of getting high in America. "Gonzo" journalist Ryan Grim takes us on a first person tour through many interesting topics covering the impact of policies on the drug use of Americans and why it has been an utter failure. The book is composed of following fourteen chapters: 1. The Acid Casualty, 2. A Pharmacopoeia Utopia, 3. Prohibition, Inc., 4. America's Little Helper, 5. New Coke, 6. D.A.R.E. to Be Different, 7. Border Justice, 8. Kids Today, 9. You Trip, 10.Blowback, 11.Conflicts of Interest,12. Puff, Puff, Live, 13. Cat and Mouse and 14.Acid Redux. Positives: 1. For those of us who know little about the drug history in America it was an insightful read. 2. Accessible, conversational and even humorous tone throughout. 3. Well researched book that covers our history with drugs. 4. Plenty of interesting historical tidbits throughout. 5. Mr. Grim does a wonderful job of explaining the impact of policies on the drug culture of America. Interesting how even well intentioned policies fail and why. 6. Jaw dropping to know what drugs were allowed in early America versus now. Bayer Heroin pills, who knew? 7. You get to know the interesting history of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and their social impact. 8. Where did cannabis first came from?? You will know after reading the book. 9. A famous dictator was injected daily with speed, find out. 10. The history on attempts to legalize marijuana. 11. The concept of supply and demand. The impact of NAFTA. 12. The book is as up to date as any book is on the topic. 13. Some great quotes..."Prohibition helps create the very conditions that make prohibition ineffective." 14. Absurd criminal sentencing for minor drug dealers. 15. Interesting statistics abound. 16. Some good and useful links. Negatives: 1. There is no bibliography. For a book that makes many references this is a crime. The author does make some references in the body of the book but it's a far cry from a typical bibliography. An appendix with notes does not suffice. 2. Glorifies the use of drugs at least that's my impression. 3. A table with most popular drugs with descriptions by era would have been nice. 4. In general, it doesn't get into the drugs impact to the individual user as much as I would have liked. In summary, "This Is Your Country on Drugs..." was an interesting book to read. It reads fairly quickly because of the interesting topic and conversational tone. It also was quite enlightening and from my point of view politically even handed despite the apparent bias in favor of drug usage. What keeps the book from getting a 5-star review was the lack of a bibliography, lack of a drug table/chart to be used as a reference and the apparent glorification of drugs. In short, a worthwhile, educational read that has something for everybody.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elliot

    I found the book quite interesting, particularly as a rather counter-culture version of the history of a number of different drugs, the cyclical trends of their use/popularity, and the hypocrisy and even counter-effectiveness of drug policies. However, the author desperately needs an editor. He frequently repeats himself, even with the exact same wording in examples and stories. It's almost as if he were intending to write a giant textbook in which any one section could be consulted on its own r I found the book quite interesting, particularly as a rather counter-culture version of the history of a number of different drugs, the cyclical trends of their use/popularity, and the hypocrisy and even counter-effectiveness of drug policies. However, the author desperately needs an editor. He frequently repeats himself, even with the exact same wording in examples and stories. It's almost as if he were intending to write a giant textbook in which any one section could be consulted on its own rather than an actual book that was meant to be read through cover to cover, otherwise there is no excuse for having entire anecdotes, stories, and explanations repeated verbatim multiples times in a rather short book. The author also starts the book in a manner that makes it seem like he is a disinterested observer and then progressively gets more and more in depth about his own drug use, his activism for legalization, and other stories relating to his personal life. It would have been nice to have a bit more information about that at the beginning, as it certainly changed my view of him and his writing as the book progressed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Frrobins

    I had to give up on this about half way through. This book lacked a thesis and, combined with the way the author would skip from topic to topic with little flow, and then randomly pick back on a dropped topic, this made reading it rather frustrating. When the author mentioned he'd gotten on prescription amphetamines just to write this book, I couldn't help but laugh and wryly think that that explained the disorganization in it. I was also bothered by how I did not feel as though I was getting the I had to give up on this about half way through. This book lacked a thesis and, combined with the way the author would skip from topic to topic with little flow, and then randomly pick back on a dropped topic, this made reading it rather frustrating. When the author mentioned he'd gotten on prescription amphetamines just to write this book, I couldn't help but laugh and wryly think that that explained the disorganization in it. I was also bothered by how I did not feel as though I was getting the full story. For instance, when talking about how prohibition started, he mentioned that it was tied to the early feminist movement. What he did not mention was that the early feminists were also prohibitionists because men would get drunk and beat their wives. But I guess it would have detracted from his point that the only reason drugs and alcohol are singled out to be regulated is because they make people feel good or because of big pharma or something. This goes back to the lack of central thesis or point as stated above. I was bothered by the lack of a bibliography and uncited sources, and this reached a tipping point with his chapter on DARE when he said that drug use among teens declined in the 80s and went back up in to 90s, when the stats I've seen show that it's leveled off from a decline with the exception of marijuana, which has gone up only in the last few years, while other illegal drug use among teens has continued to decline. The chapter became even more ridiculous when he said that the reason the supposed uptick in teen drug use went up in the 90/00s was a combination of a new parenting method encouraging children's curiosity and DARE, when as someone who researches child development I can attest to the fact that in the US people use a variety of parenting methods and if anything with the rise of helicopter parenting and overscheduled children, kids today have less freedom to explore. The premise was so preposterous I didn't see any reason to continue reading. I feel that there's a lot of propaganda on both sides of the issue that it's hard for me to have strong opinions either way on the drug problem and how to go about it, and unfortunately this book was so biased and unacademic that it was not useful in clarifying anything.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter Certo

    an excellent overview on the futility of the drug war, and a wonderful testament to the human drive to get high. as a study of actual drug culture, the book is rather limited -- it focuses mostly on the author's excursions in various psychedelic subcultures. these are among the book's more interesting passages, but there's not much insight into drug cultures that grim himself has never participated in. grim's day job is reporting on congress, so it's no surprise that a larger chunk of the book is an excellent overview on the futility of the drug war, and a wonderful testament to the human drive to get high. as a study of actual drug culture, the book is rather limited -- it focuses mostly on the author's excursions in various psychedelic subcultures. these are among the book's more interesting passages, but there's not much insight into drug cultures that grim himself has never participated in. grim's day job is reporting on congress, so it's no surprise that a larger chunk of the book is a washington-centered history of various attempts to ban or control different drugs at different times. it covers the emergence of the pharmaceutical lobby, the rise and fall of religious temperance movements, and a sharply critical look at the cia's links to drug traffickers at home and abroad. it even includes an excursion to the coca-growing regions of bolivia, where there's simmering resentment over u.s. efforts to control an important cash crop for millions of poor farmers. these latter sections are excellent. this is all accomplished relatively deftly for a policy tract (better than reading than washington post, anyway), though the real impacts of the drug war at home -- especially concerning issues of race -- are scarcely discussed at all. just as the book begins to approach that territory (after a long section on drug-running by the cia-backed nicaraguan contras), it retreats into the mostly white world of experimental psychedelics and on to burning man. the new territory is interesting (love the stuff on the rise of erowid, actually), but it feels like an unwarranted detour. as a result, the book is neither a cohesive look at drug culture in america nor a comprehensive indictment of the drug war the author clearly believes to be futile. but what it does do, it does pretty well. imperfectly outlined, but engagingly executed. it's worth reading, just remember to read more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    This book has a 2009 copyright, so it's missing more recent history of drugs like bath salts and "not pot" like K2. It's interesting to see the author predict drug policy (such as the illegality of salvia) and thing, yep, that happened. It was also interesting to read about how the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. lead to increased opium use throughout the country. The "history of getting high in America" as told here focused mostly on the 1960s on. Of course, there was information given about This book has a 2009 copyright, so it's missing more recent history of drugs like bath salts and "not pot" like K2. It's interesting to see the author predict drug policy (such as the illegality of salvia) and thing, yep, that happened. It was also interesting to read about how the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. lead to increased opium use throughout the country. The "history of getting high in America" as told here focused mostly on the 1960s on. Of course, there was information given about American drug use prior to the 1960s, but I wish there had been more. The author lets us know that drug use in America didn't start in the 1960s, but as far as I'm concerned, he didn't tell us enough about the early days. Perhaps I'm looking for several additional books: the. history of laudanum, the history of patent medicine, the history of cocaine use, the history of marijuana. I don't know what Ryan Grim has been writing since this book was published, but I hope it's been more about drugs and more about the cultural history of the U.S. Grim has an engaging writing style. I appreciate that he's not afraid to include himself in the story. Grim is not just a neutral observer of the history of drugs, he's a participant observer who tells the reader about his experience3s with ayahuasca and tests the authenticity of acid by letting it rest on his tongue to see if he gets high. The book ends with a thorough index, which pleases me. (Finding an index at the end of a book always pleases me.) I hope there is an updated version of this book, but if not, it still holds up as a history. I'm trying to find room in my tiny house to keep this book as a reference.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Nelson

    People like to get f'd up...and Americans even more so. (I read a book once, a long time ago, that asserted that the Inuit (?) were the only people who didn't have a native intoxicant/psychotropic tradition, and that's only because there's nothing to make anything from.) Only touches on the early years very lightly: the now well-known (to me) fact of the early settlers' amazing drunkenness, and all that, spending much more time with the late 19th and 20th centuries. His basic premise is that if o People like to get f'd up...and Americans even more so. (I read a book once, a long time ago, that asserted that the Inuit (?) were the only people who didn't have a native intoxicant/psychotropic tradition, and that's only because there's nothing to make anything from.) Only touches on the early years very lightly: the now well-known (to me) fact of the early settlers' amazing drunkenness, and all that, spending much more time with the late 19th and 20th centuries. His basic premise is that if one substance is unavailable or unpopular (booze, acid) people will turn to something else (opium, adderall). Lots and lots of examples, plus plenty in the strange stupid history of prohibitions, including the WCTU, Reagan's crazy fixation with pot, and the confluence of events that led to the disappearance of acid in the late 90s; an interesting detour into the medical marijuana trend, plus a startling amount of personal (if a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge) experience. And of course DARE, that famously counter-productive and yet predictably popular program. The challenge, it seems to me, is discovering an educational process that is honest about people's appetites and at the same time focused on personal safety. Until then, we're stuck in a useless -- but expensive! -- cycle of fear-mongering and forgetting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Johnny D

    Just before Christmas my mother sent me a website filled with extremely cheap books and asked me to send her a list of the ones I thought were interesting. When I added this one to the list I thought for sure that my mother would ignore it and buy me something like "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" instead. Nope, she went ahead and ordered this one. And as interesting as "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" might be, this was far better. Yes, I know, I haven't read "101 Ways to Be a Better Chris Just before Christmas my mother sent me a website filled with extremely cheap books and asked me to send her a list of the ones I thought were interesting. When I added this one to the list I thought for sure that my mother would ignore it and buy me something like "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" instead. Nope, she went ahead and ordered this one. And as interesting as "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" might be, this was far better. Yes, I know, I haven't read "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" and, in fact, I don't even know if such a book exists. Call it intuition if you will, but this book is much much better than that possibly non-existent book. So what do I think of the actual book? Well, I gave it four stars and that's high for me. Heh heh, high. High, like . . . never mind. Anyhow, this book is not only filled with interesting facts about America's long love affair with mind-altering substances, but it offers a devastating critique of America's continuing war on drugs. Interesting fact: Bayer used to sell heroin in a bottle. Anyway, I'd recommend this book to anyone whose interest is captured by the title.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    This was very informative and interesting, but something was lacking. I'm not sure exactly what. The trivia was stellar, but I find myself thinking it was missing a central thesis. Except I know this isn't true - it had a central thesis: that americans like to get high, and whenever the government tries to do something about it, unexpected consequences occur. I guess the obviousness of that thesis jarrs slightly with the wonderful research into the various stories - like the bust that made LSD i This was very informative and interesting, but something was lacking. I'm not sure exactly what. The trivia was stellar, but I find myself thinking it was missing a central thesis. Except I know this isn't true - it had a central thesis: that americans like to get high, and whenever the government tries to do something about it, unexpected consequences occur. I guess the obviousness of that thesis jarrs slightly with the wonderful research into the various stories - like the bust that made LSD impossible to find for 5 years, and the much-quoted story about Steve Jobs and LSD (this is the book where that comes from). And the interviews with the people who run Erowid and MAPS were super interesting. And he mentioned Spacemen 3, so I guess that's something. I think I would have liked more about the past, though - the opium and WCTU stuff was fascinating. It would have been great to read more about the 40's and 50's, etc. Still, though. An educational read. worth it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    If this subject interests you at all, you must read this book. I have read reams on the subject and this is by far the most well written and accessible I have encountered. Whereas many drug policy books are written in a scholarly, heavily footnoted format that may turn a casual reader off, Grim blends personal anecdote, interviews, and research seamlessly to create a comprehensive work that is both engaging and educational. While it took me weeks to get through Jacob Sullum's "Saying Yes" I coul If this subject interests you at all, you must read this book. I have read reams on the subject and this is by far the most well written and accessible I have encountered. Whereas many drug policy books are written in a scholarly, heavily footnoted format that may turn a casual reader off, Grim blends personal anecdote, interviews, and research seamlessly to create a comprehensive work that is both engaging and educational. While it took me weeks to get through Jacob Sullum's "Saying Yes" I could not put this book down. From patent medicines to Iran Contra to research chemicals, this guy knows his subject and makes no apologies for personal experimentation and activism despite being a well regarded political insider. He also takes the media to task for it's multitude of investigative failures and propaganda spreading while being a media man himself. This guy is what journalism should be. Much like a good high, I find myself wanting more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bri

    This is Your Country on Drugs by Ryan Grim, is an informative overview of a variety of drugs used throughout the American history beggining with the use of LSD. Grim is not at all secrative with his drug experiences and shares several anecdotes from his life in the book. Grim uses an exorbent amount of evidence in his overview of Americas drug use and what brought each drug into tipping into being used mainstream. Grim's writing however is bouncy and at times difficult to follow. There is a lack This is Your Country on Drugs by Ryan Grim, is an informative overview of a variety of drugs used throughout the American history beggining with the use of LSD. Grim is not at all secrative with his drug experiences and shares several anecdotes from his life in the book. Grim uses an exorbent amount of evidence in his overview of Americas drug use and what brought each drug into tipping into being used mainstream. Grim's writing however is bouncy and at times difficult to follow. There is a lack of flow throughout the book, and Grim kind of just jumps from one thing to another. There are also times in the book were the reader may find themselves overwhelmed with the information given and must re-read several times to fully take it in. Overall the book was a good read and I would suggest it to an advanced reader doing a research project on the topic. This is not necessarily a book I would choose as a free read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Ryan Grim weaves a compelling narrative of America's relationship with drugs by connecting aggressive reporting with personal anecdotes. While many books about drug history and drug culture are hard to take completely seriously, Grim's background as a solid political reporter lends credibility to his telling of the facts. Neither anti-drug screed nor a pro-drug polemic, This Is Your Country On Drugs is an easy-to-read primer on American drug policy. Ryan Grim weaves a compelling narrative of America's relationship with drugs by connecting aggressive reporting with personal anecdotes. While many books about drug history and drug culture are hard to take completely seriously, Grim's background as a solid political reporter lends credibility to his telling of the facts. Neither anti-drug screed nor a pro-drug polemic, This Is Your Country On Drugs is an easy-to-read primer on American drug policy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Ward

    This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim (John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2009 ) (306.1). This is a series of essays on illicit drug use in the United States. Of particular interest is the chapter about LSD use after the 1960's and one about a California medical marijuana dispensary. According to the author, the LSD supply around the country dried up when the Grateful Dead stopped touring. Well duh! My rating: 7/10, finished 2009. This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim (John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2009 ) (306.1). This is a series of essays on illicit drug use in the United States. Of particular interest is the chapter about LSD use after the 1960's and one about a California medical marijuana dispensary. According to the author, the LSD supply around the country dried up when the Grateful Dead stopped touring. Well duh! My rating: 7/10, finished 2009.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    This was an interesting book the whole way through. I like how it started out with acid at Burning Man and ended with acid at Burning Man, while giving you the whole history on the drug war, national policy, and why California is the way it is. One of my favorite lines is, "if the system eventually encompassed all of California's pot smokers, the tax revenue would be in the range of around $2 billion". To that I say fully legalize weed, Cali needs the money! This was an interesting book the whole way through. I like how it started out with acid at Burning Man and ended with acid at Burning Man, while giving you the whole history on the drug war, national policy, and why California is the way it is. One of my favorite lines is, "if the system eventually encompassed all of California's pot smokers, the tax revenue would be in the range of around $2 billion". To that I say fully legalize weed, Cali needs the money!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    This book is a tad outdated at this point (pre-2008 election), but still has a good deal of information about the past, present, and future of drug use in America. It is written from the perspective of someone who has used and enjoyed drugs, so I do think it takes a more accepting view of their use. On the other hand, it is interesting to see how accepting America used to be of drug use and how seemingly insignificant moments can turn the national opinion to create a "war on drugs." This book is a tad outdated at this point (pre-2008 election), but still has a good deal of information about the past, present, and future of drug use in America. It is written from the perspective of someone who has used and enjoyed drugs, so I do think it takes a more accepting view of their use. On the other hand, it is interesting to see how accepting America used to be of drug use and how seemingly insignificant moments can turn the national opinion to create a "war on drugs."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    The information presented was really interesting and related a lot of effects that foreign policy and even the so-called drug war has done to drug use and perceptions. The biggest flaws I found were that some of the information, particularly in the first half of the book, wasn't organized in a very coherent way and there was a lot of overlap. The information presented was really interesting and related a lot of effects that foreign policy and even the so-called drug war has done to drug use and perceptions. The biggest flaws I found were that some of the information, particularly in the first half of the book, wasn't organized in a very coherent way and there was a lot of overlap.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hamilton

    Decent overview of Drugs in America. The guy did a lot of drugs in his research. He points a mocking finger at our drug policy. He ends the book with a comment about how the drug scene is infested with liars. I get the feeling that anyone who didn't agree with this guy wouldn't have a hard time discrediting him, but I like what he's saying. Decent overview of Drugs in America. The guy did a lot of drugs in his research. He points a mocking finger at our drug policy. He ends the book with a comment about how the drug scene is infested with liars. I get the feeling that anyone who didn't agree with this guy wouldn't have a hard time discrediting him, but I like what he's saying.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alpha

    3.5/5 - Pretty interesting. The data is a bit overwhelming at times, but the author does a pretty good job making it work with each chapter. It's a nice overview of drugs in America as a whole, going into the past as well as current politics. I learned quite a few new things from the book, and it's a nice read for anyone interested in the topic. 3.5/5 - Pretty interesting. The data is a bit overwhelming at times, but the author does a pretty good job making it work with each chapter. It's a nice overview of drugs in America as a whole, going into the past as well as current politics. I learned quite a few new things from the book, and it's a nice read for anyone interested in the topic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Loren

    It took me quite a while to get through this book because it is so incredibly detailed. There are so many misconceptions about the history of drugs as well as our present state. Should be required reading for most high school student and anyone who has a friend or a family member who has a "drug problem." It took me quite a while to get through this book because it is so incredibly detailed. There are so many misconceptions about the history of drugs as well as our present state. Should be required reading for most high school student and anyone who has a friend or a family member who has a "drug problem."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Interesting study of the history of drug/alcohol use in America with a strong legalization bias... which becomes painfully evident when the author begins writing about his various acid trips & pot buys. It's hard to take him seriously at that point. I did give up on the book - but only the last couple of chapters. Interesting study of the history of drug/alcohol use in America with a strong legalization bias... which becomes painfully evident when the author begins writing about his various acid trips & pot buys. It's hard to take him seriously at that point. I did give up on the book - but only the last couple of chapters.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Not the best read. It was chock full of totally interesting information, astonishing facts, conspiracies, news, characters, everything that you really want in a current history book. But it kind of lost momentum toward the end, I was kind of overwhelmed with content after a certain point, really wondering where it was going.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    A fun read. A little unfocused, tries to cover a lot of ground. One of the most illuminating parts of the book: when mainstream journalists defend the establishment media's treatment of Gary Webb and downplay the things he got right when he wrote about CIA-cocaine connections in the '90s. A fun read. A little unfocused, tries to cover a lot of ground. One of the most illuminating parts of the book: when mainstream journalists defend the establishment media's treatment of Gary Webb and downplay the things he got right when he wrote about CIA-cocaine connections in the '90s.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Raymond

    Little in this book is new to those of us who are familiar with the failure of United States drug policy, but it was still an interesting read for the new stuff as well as seeing it all in one place.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christian Ternus

    The best books force you to re-examine your preconceptions, and Grim's treatment of a controversial topic did that in spades. The best sections were the history of prohibition and legalization, and the reasons why certain drugs fell where they did (almost always for political or economic reasons). The best books force you to re-examine your preconceptions, and Grim's treatment of a controversial topic did that in spades. The best sections were the history of prohibition and legalization, and the reasons why certain drugs fell where they did (almost always for political or economic reasons).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susie Burke

    Very well written and engaging journey into the history of drugs and alcohol in America, taking into full account all of the anecdotal influences the subject has had along its way to its present state.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Well thought out and impressively insightful. I'd recommend it to anyone. Well thought out and impressively insightful. I'd recommend it to anyone.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tyger

    That LSD is dead. With the death of the Dead and Phish tours the methods of distro are gone and the one guy that can really make it is in jail. Pretty good book about drug abuse in the USA.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    i thought this would be an obvious pedestal book and it wasn't.... it actually explained where LSD went and why and what the hell is really happening in our drug loving country i thought this would be an obvious pedestal book and it wasn't.... it actually explained where LSD went and why and what the hell is really happening in our drug loving country

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Decent, though biased, account of the history of drug use in the US.

  30. 4 out of 5

    The Tick

    Really interesting, but I had a lot of trouble with the organization of the information. Sort of chronological, sort of thematic, and really hard to keep track of in spots.

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