Book Reviews

Home Grown

Author(s): 
Isaac Campos
Reviewer: 
Phillip S. Smith

Book Review: If Prison Is the Disease, Not the Cure, How Do You Treat It?

Author(s): 
Ernest Drucker
Reviewer: 
Dan Froomkin

The breathtaking premise of Ernest Drucker's new book is that mass incarceration is an epidemic ravaging the country -- not a solution to a problem, but a problem in itself.

Book Review: The Globalisation of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit

Author(s): 
Bruce K. Alexander
Reviewer: 
Ed Day, Senior Lecturer in Addiction Psychiatry

Several years ago I was asked to participate in a Royal College of Psychiatrists’ debate for young people. I was proposing the motion that ‘we are all a nation of addicts’, and a show of hands before the debate started revealed a strong majority in my favour. Unfortunately, an articulate description of the ICD–10 definitions of dependence by the opposition allowed the audience to re-evaluate their excesses as falling below the ‘addictive’ threshold defined by scientific medicine, and the motion was soundly defeated.

In the Eye of the Needle: Diary of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

Author(s): 
Ingrid van Beek
Reviewer: 
Allan Clear

However they are labeled, there are a couple of dozen safe injection facilities, safe injection rooms, safe injection spaces, drug consumption rooms, or medically supervised injecting centres around the globe. The most recent have appeared in Vancouver, Canada, and the most scrutinized is in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Ingrid Van Beek has diarized the early history of Sydney's centre in her book, "In the Eye of the Needle". This book is much more than the story of the medically supervised injection center.

Behind the Eight Ball: Sex for Crack Cocaine Exchange and Poor Black Women

Author(s): 
Tanya Telfair Sharpe
Reviewer: 

Behind the Eight Ball: Sex for Crack Cocaine Exchange and Poor Black Women, is a social epidemiological/ethnographic monograph presenting an account of the lives of inner city poor women addicted to crack cocaine, who exchange sex for crack to support their drug habits.

What Medicinal Mariujana? New book steps in as Health Canada leaves medicinal users yearning.

Author(s): 
Wendy Little and Eric Nash
Reviewer: 
John Akpata

In 1922, police magistrate and Canadian marijuana prohibitionist Emily Murphy wrote a book titled The Black Candle. It suggested that "aliens of colour" will "bring about the degeneration of the white race" through drug trafficking. Murphy played upon the spectre of pure white women becoming defenceless against "black-haired beasts in our human jungle," and alluded to the notion that drug use in general is part of a global non-white plot to enslave Caucasians. Her solution was to "insist on people of colour's exclusion from this continent."

Drug Stigma Hardest On Women, Says Book By Uvic Professor

Author(s): 
Susan Boyd
Reviewer: 
Mark Browne

Women have been getting a particularly bad deal in the war on drugs, according to a new book by a University of Victoria professor. Susan Boyd's From Witches to Crack Moms is a call for the end to the war on drugs which emphasises on the impact it has historically had on women.

The drug policy researcher and professor in UVic’s human and social development faculty looked at where women fit in various drug wars throughout history while writing her latest book. Much of the book’s focus is on whether men were seen different than women in the different drug wars.

Down And Dirty With The Criminal Code: A Review of Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers & Lawyers

Author(s): 
Alan Young
Reviewer: 
Lisa Taylor

In 1997, Osgoode Hall professor Alan Young became the first lawyer to challenge Canada's pot prohibition. The law stood, but didn't emerge unscathed - the trial judge stated that marijuana was non-addictive and relatively harmless and that striking down pot laws wouldn't lead to increased consumption. Young declared the prosecution a success, celebrating on the courthouse steps with other pro-pot activists in a cloud of sweet smoke. "In court, we had said that at least 2.5 million Canadians smoke pot," he recounts. "On that day, everyone seemed to be smoking a big doob."

Saying Yes: A Review of In Defense of Drug Use

Author(s): 
Jacob Sullum
Reviewer: 
Phil Smith

It is a sort of obligatory obeisance before the malign power of controlled substances, those pills, powders, potions and puffables that, as one-time Republican presidential contender Steve Forbes, neatly summed up, "destroy the body, enslave the soul, and take away people's freedom to think and choose for themselves." No matter how ardent the reformer, all too often, when he stands up to call for an end to the drug war, his oration begins with some variation of "I don't condone drug use, but..."

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