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Hugh Hefner

Johann Hari's 'Chasing the Scream' details the disastrous history, and possible end, of the war on drugs

Johann Hari's 'Chasing the Scream' details the disastrous history, and possible end, of the war on drugs

Early last year, when people started talking seriously again about the decriminalization of marijuana, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she should not be “waving the Schmoke flag of legalization.” She was referring to former mayor Kurt Schmoke, who in the 1980s recommended the legalization of all drugs to Congress. Though it is a strange turn of phrase, it seems clear that the flag in “Schmoke flag” is referring to a flag of surrender, building on the terminology of the drug war.  Johann Hari’s important and beautifully written new book “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” (Bloomsbury) looks at the...

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