ONDCP

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Americans losing the war on Afghan opium

Location: 
HEL
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
The Hamilton Spectator (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1178081118833&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112188062581

Colombian Seeks to Persuade Congress to Continue Aid

Location: 
Caracas
Venezuela
Publication/Source: 
The New York Times
URL: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/world/americas/30uribe.html?hp

Reuters Admits Flawed Marijuana Reporting

Given ONDCP's ongoing claims of 20-30 fold increases in marijuana potency, yesterday's announcement that potency has merely doubled feels more like a concession than the latest drug war scare tactic. Yet thanks to lazy reporting, this lukewarm story became the next great threat to public safety.

From Associated Press:
The government estimates that 4.1 million Americans use marijuana. Use by teenagers has declined recently, but federal officials worry that marijuana is being cited more often in emergency room visits.
From Reuters:
The marijuana being sold across the United States is stronger than ever, which could explain a growing number of medical emergencies that involve the drug, say government drug experts.

Neither story explained the concept of "emergency room mentions" from which these claims were derived. And these two reports were republished in major papers everywhere from Dallas to Sydney.

Importantly, people who mentioned marijuana to doctors weren't in most -- if any -- cases directly injured by it. Upon admission to the emergency room, you're instructed to report any drugs in your system in case they could interfere with your treatment (and it's really not marijuana they're worried about). Patients who mention marijuana include everyone from heroin users to gunshot victims to various people who fell and couldn't get up.

Marijuana is growing in popularity as a medicine, which could also help explain why sick people report having used it.

Fortunately, thanks to incredulous readers, Reuters was forced to clarify:

Lots and lots of readers asked for examples of these emergencies. We updated the story with an explanation which should have been made clear from the start, that medical emergency "means that the patient mentioned using marijuana and does not mean the drug directly caused the accident or condition being treated."

Is it any wonder that readers were confused? Statements such as "marijuana is being cited more often in emergency room visits" or "a growing number of medical emergencies that involve the drug" clearly imply that marijuana caused or contributed to the patient's hospitalization. That was ONDCP's intention, passed along uncritically by Reuters and AP with the inevitable effect of confusing the public.*

Like many things you read in an ONDCP press release, the statement on emergency room visits was so misleading that it becomes false if you change any of the words. "Mentioned" is simply not the same as "involved." Thus the media reports became more misleading than the press release they were based on, which was pretty bad to begin with.

Even when properly explained, "emergency room mentions" remain a vague and ultimately unhelpful measure upon which to base alarmist claims. ONDCP's reliance on such tenuous, circumstantial evidence speaks to the credibility of their position on marijuana policy in general.

*Reuters made a partial correction, but AP has not. Contact them here.

Location: 
United States

U.S. estimates find no Bolivian coca increase under Morales

Location: 
La Paz
Bolivia
Publication/Source: 
San Diego Union-Tribune
URL: 
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070426-0845-bolivia-us-coca.html

Feature: Drug Czar Reluctantly Admits Cocaine Prices Have Dropped in Quietly Released Report

On Monday, the US Coast Guard unloaded nearly 20 tons of cocaine it had seized last month off the coast of Central America, the largest maritime drug bust in US history. Will it make any difference? Not if the history of US cocaine interdiction efforts is any indication.

Two years ago, the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), John Walters, proudly announced that interdiction and eradication efforts were working based on a rise in cocaine prices. But in a just-released study, "Connecting the Dots: ONDCP's (Reluctant) Update on Cocaine Price and Purity," the Washington Office on Latin America's (WOLA) John Walsh reports that Walters' loudly announced price increase was only a blip that has since been reversed. Unlike his earlier announcement, Walters has not trumpeted these findings.

Among the key points in the report:

  • Preliminary US government data, quietly disclosed by ONDCP, indicate that cocaine's price per pure gram on US streets fell in 2006, while its purity increased. (Increasing purity effectively constitutes an additional price decrease.)
  • These latest estimates, continuing a 25-year trend, suggest that cocaine supplies are stable or even increasing.
  • This is so despite $31 billion spent on drug interdiction and crop control efforts since 1997, including $5.4 billion spent in Colombia -- the source of 90 percent of cocaine in the United States -- since "Plan Colombia" began in 2000.
  • The updated cocaine data fully reverse a short-lived price increase that the White House drug czar's office heralded in late 2005. That rise in prices and decline in purity, which received much media attention at the time, proved to be a less than impressive fluctuation, as skeptics at the time suggested would be the case.
  • The available evidence indicates that cocaine's continued low and falling prices are driven largely by ongoing robust cocaine supply, rather than by a slackening or collapse in demand.
  • The new cocaine price and purity estimates offer further evidence that the continued US emphasis on forced crop eradication, with "Plan Colombia" as its most visible and costly centerpiece, has failed to affect drug supplies at home.

America's supply-side efforts to reduce cocaine use by stopping it from getting to the US have failed. Or, as Walsh put it: "A perennial goal of US anti-drug policy has been to disrupt supplies enough to constrain availability... this effort, however, has consistently failed to achieve lasting increases in drug prices or reductions in drug purity levels. Rather, cocaine prices have been in general decline since 1982. And according to new estimates, which the White House drug czar's office quietly provided to a US senator in January, this decline continued apace in 2006."

And while Walters and his fellow drug warriors are always promising that progress is just around the next corner, the annual Drug Threat Assessments from the National Drug Intelligence Center show that little changes:

  • April 2004: "Both powder and crack cocaine are readily available throughout the country and overall availability appears to be stable."
  • January 2005: "Key indicators of domestic cocaine availability show stable or slightly increased availability in drug markets throughout the country..."
  • January 2006: "Cocaine is widely available throughout most of the nation, and cocaine supplies are relatively stable at levels sufficient to meet current user demand."
  • October 2006: Despite record levels of cocaine lost or seized in transit toward the United States, "there have been no sustained cocaine shortages or indications of stretched supplies in domestic drug markets."

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/ondcp-chart.jpg
Purity-adjusted cocaine price chart, prepared for ONDCP by the RAND Corporation. (See the WOLA report for full-size version.)
"It's way past time to bring our expectations for this kind of drug control policy in line with reality," Walsh told Drug War Chronicle. "That reality is that the record makes clear it is extremely difficult to drive up prices for any length of time. We need to put the supply control effort in proper perspective: Even if in its best case scenario, it is preventing cocaine from being much more readily available, it is marginal to the real issue, which is the question of demand and the consequences of drug use."

As Walsh shows in great detail in the report, ONDCP suppresses the cocaine price and purity numbers that hurt it politically and trumpets those that support its claims. That's no surprise to Matt Robinson, professor of criminal justice at Appalachian State University and co-author of Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"This is more of the same from ONDCP; it's not surprising at all, although it's very disappointing," said Robinson. "What we showed in our book is that they selectively choose and present statistics that support their case and they ignore or downplay statistics that don't support their case, and that's what this report shows them doing as well," he told the Chronicle.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/eradication-small.jpg
coca eradication operation
Robinson also noted that when Walters trumpeted a blip upward in cocaine prices in 2005, ONDCP was up to its old trick of cherry-picking short-term data that supported its case while ignoring the overall trend over time. "Once again, we see a very short-term focus on a specific time period while ignoring long-term trends. That's exactly what we found historically."

"Unfortunately, this is not a surprise, more like par for the course. As we found several times looking at ONDCP over several years, this is a real typical pattern," said Renee Scherlen, professor of political science at Appalachian State and Robinson's coauthor. "In the present case, ONDCP chose to look at a snippet that doesn't really reflect a trend."

Academics and analysts aren't the only critics of ONDCP's "truthiness," to cite a term coined by Steven Colbert. Also skeptical is Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who wrote Walters a year ago asking for clarification of his claims. ONDCP may be making selective use of statistics to "provide a rosier but not necessarily more accurate picture of the current situation." Grassley is still un-persuaded despite further correspondence with ONDCP. "When it comes to statistics, I think it's fair to say they cook the books," Sen. Grassley told National Public Radio in a recent interview. "They use whatever statistics fit their public relations program."

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/coca-seedlings.jpg
coca seedlings
The cure for ONDCP's mendacity lies with Congress, said Robinson. "The simplest thing is for Congress to hold them accountable," he said. "Congress could mandate annual performance evaluations, but it doesn't. Congress has a chance to reauthorize ONDCP every five years or so, and that could be another occasion, but Congress doesn't have to wait for that," he said.

"The idea of holding congressional hearings and asking for them to be held accountable through oversight is one path to follow," Scherlen concurred. "To analyze policy, we have to have accurate information. We want to know what works and what doesn't. You don't have to oppose the war on drugs to request that we have good information and that ONDCP present data that is truthful."

'Drug Czar' Makes Pitch for Random Drug Testing in Schools

Location: 
NV
United States
Publication/Source: 
KLAS-TV (NV)
URL: 
http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6421839&pass=1#poll60562

Book Offer: Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/drugwarstatisticsbook.jpg
Normally when we publish a book review in our Drug War Chronicle newsletter, it gets readers but is not among the top stories visited on the site. Recently we saw a big exception to that rule when more than 2,700 of you read our review of the new book Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Much of this reading took place during a week that had other very popular articles as well, so clearly the topic of this book, which was authored by respected academics Matthew Robinson and Renee Scherlen, has struck a chord. As well it should.

Please help DRCNet continue our own work of debunking drug war lies with a generous donation. If your donation is $32 or more, we'll send you a complimentary copy of Robinson and Scherlen's book to help you be able to debunk drug war lies too.

Over the coming weeks I will be blogging on our web site about things I've learned reading Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics. Stay tuned!

Your donation will help DRCNet as we advance what we think is an incredible two-year plan to substantially advance drug policy reform and the cause of ending prohibition globally and in the US. Please make a generous donation today to help the cause! I know you will feel the money was well spent after you see what DRCNet has in store. Our online donation form lets you donate by credit card, by PayPal, or to print out a form to send with your check or money order by mail. Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, our lobbying entity, are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible donations can be made to DRCNet Foundation, our educational wing. (Choosing a gift like Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics will reduce the portion of your donation that you can deduct by the retail cost of the item.) Both groups receive member mail at: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

Thank you for your support, and hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,


David Borden
Executive Director

P.S. You can read Chronicle editor Phil Smith's review of the book here.

Review of Lies, Damned Lies and Drug War Statistics by Matt B. Robinson and Renee G. Scherlen (SUNY Press, 2007).

(Click here to read about DRCNet's book offer for members.) Reviewed by Randall G. Shelden, UNLV Looking back on my career and what I have learned there is a rather consistent theme in my thinking and writing about the subject of crime and justice. It might go something like this: we have a system in place that has a vested interest in keeping crime (including drug use) at a certain level. All sorts of careers and a lot of money (literally tens of billions of dollars each year) are dependent upon a steady supply of offenders - even if they have to pass new laws creating new categories of offenders (this especially applies to drugs). This is why many have used such terms like "crime control industry" or "criminal justice industrial complex." Agencies within this complex can sort of "have their cake and eat it too" in that they can have it both ways: when what they do is clearly failing they can merely claim that the problem still exists and they need to continuing doing the same thing (with more money of course). Obviously when things are going well they can take responsibility. This is the pattern with local police departments and in fact the entire system, namely that when crime is down they take credit because of some program in place; however, when crime goes up, they can shift responsibility to all sorts of variables. Favorites include a growing population in their jurisdiction (which is not usually that relevant), a growing youth or "crime risk" population (again, not that critical), "broken" or "dysfunctional" families and, two of my favorites, "outside influences" (e.g., gangs moving) or "liberal programs." Another way of putting this is that, as Jeff Reiman has observed, nothing succeeds like failure! A friend once told me something he learned when studying for his MBA. It is called "optimal starting and stopping points." What this means is that in order to bolster your argument or to make a case that what you are doing is working you pick out a time period that best represents your success and avoid time periods that do not. So it has been with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Matt Robinson and Renee Scherlen do an exceptional job of showing exactly this in Damned Lies and Drug War Statistics. They do this by critically examining six years (2000-2006) of the National Drug Control Strategy. They read through each and every annual report, looking especially for both accurate and inaccurate use of statistics and evidence of honesty and dishonesty in each report. They examined each and every claim made by ONDCP and evaluated ONDCP's stated goals (e.g., reducing drug use and drug availability). What they found for each year, almost without exception, was an almost total misuse of some very simple statistics (e.g., from various annual drug surveys, such as NHSDA, ADAM, MTF). They discovered that in many instances ONDCP employed the "optimal starting and stopping points." For instance, Robinson and Scherlen found that for the 2000 strategy report ONDCP uses a baseline of 1985 that shows a decline in drug use from that year to 1999. Yet the ONDCP was not started until 1988 and the largest drop in drug use was between 1985 and 1988, with the rate remaining steady for the rest of the decade. Other reports use 1979 as a starting point (the peak of drug use). On another occasion the ONDCP claims to prove that George Bush's goal during his 2002 "State of the Union speech of a 10% reduction of drug use by youth within two years was met, but uses a time period that started one year prior to Bush's speech! The authors also found numerous instances where they cite declines in youth drug use during a certain period, but ignore the fact that drug use was increasing among adults. In some cases the ONDCP reproduces a chart that clearly shows drug use increasing, but fail to comment on this rather obvious evidence of failure. On the other hand, on some occasions the ONDCP readily admits "disturbing trends" such as the fact that throughout the decade of the 1990s drug use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders (Monitoring the Future) is "close to record highs." Yet in this case, the ONDCP sort of ignores such an obvious failure and instead uses this as evidence of a need to get tougher in the war on drugs! Nothing succeeds like failure! Robinson and Scherlen note that ONDCP tends to "celebrate declines even when they are short-term or occurred a decade ago, and downplay increases unless they are being used to create alarm" (p. 66). More examples like this are presented throughout this book. Perhaps more importantly, even when there are some decreases in drug use, ONDCP fails to provide any evidence that this is because of what they did. Moreover, like I said above concerning police departments, Robinson and Scherlen note that "ONDCP only takes credit when drug use trends decline, but takes no responsibility when drug use trends increase" (p. 68). One of the most important chapters in this book is chapters 5 and 6 where they examine ONDCP's claims of success in "healing America's drug users and disrupting drug markets" and claims concerning the costs of the drug war. In these two chapters Robinson and Scherlen also critically examine ONDCP claims about the nature of the drug problem itself. First, ONDCP fails to differentiate between drug use and drug abuse and instead claims that "Drug use promises one thing but delivers something else – something sad and debilitating for users, their families, and their communities. The deception can be masked for some time, and it is during this time that the habit is 'carried' by users to other vulnerable young people." This is an outlandish claim totally lacking empirical foundation. As Robinson and Scherlen correctly note, drug use does not lead to such outcomes and in fact the majority of youths who use drugs do so only a few times and quit completely in their early 20s (p. 96). Such a conclusion is a general consensus by drug experts – obviously a group ONDCP fails to consult! ONDCP also claims that drug testing is effective, yet can cite only anecdotal evidence (such as a statement by one woman based upon a one conversation with a grocery bagger – see p. 102) and ignore comprehensive studies that find that it clearly does not work (e.g., as cited on the Monitoring the Future web site). This is called "confirmation bias" – selecting evidence that supports your position while ignoring contrary evidence. The ONDCP clearly has failed to disrupt drug markets and there has been a steady decline in the price of illegal drugs, as Robinson and Scherlen clearly show with charts taken from ONDCP's report. Yes, you read this correctly: ONDCP reproduces charts that show prices falling yet fail to make any statement that suggests that their goal of raising prices by disrupting drug markets is not working! This is one of the best points about the Robinson and Scherlen book in that they use readily available data – some reproduced by ONDCP – which clearly contradict ONDCP's claims! Robinson and Scherlen also examined claims about the costs of drugs and the drug war. Once again, they demonstrate that ONDCP misuses statistics. Here the authors show that the bulk of the costs of drugs stems from the drug war itself and the fact that some drugs have been criminalized. I could go on and on with more examples. Suffice it to say that Robinson and Scherlen have provided a thorough critique of the claims made by those in charge of the drug war. This book will no doubt prove to be a valuable resource for those trying to make sense of a war that has created so much havoc within our society. Incidentally, the first two chapters provide the reader with an excellent overview on the how the drug war came to be, including a brief history of anti-drug legislation. For those not familiar with this history, these chapters will provide much needed information to fill this gap. Read it, learn from it, use it. Randall G. Shelden is Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he has been a faculty member since 1977. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Girls, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (3rd edition), with Meda Chesney-Lind (which received the Hindelang Award for outstanding contribution to Criminology in 1992); Youth Gangs in American Society (3rd ed.), with Sharon Tracy and William B. Brown (both with Wadsworth); Controlling the Dangerous Classes: A History of Criminal Justice (2nd forthcoming, Allyn and Bacon); Criminal Justice in America: A Critical View, with William B. Brown (a revised edition of this book is forthcoming with Waveland Press). His most recent book is Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society (Waveland Press). His web site is: www.sheldensays.com. (Click here to read about DRCNet's book offer for members.)
Location: 
United States

Review of Lies, Damned Lies and Drug War Statistics by Matt B. Robinson and Renee G. Scherlen (SUNY Press, 2007).

(Click here to read about DRCNet's book offer for members.) Reviewed by Randall G. Shelden, UNLV Looking back on my career and what I have learned there is a rather consistent theme in my thinking and writing about the subject of crime and justice. It might go something like this: we have a system in place that has a vested interest in keeping crime (including drug use) at a certain level. All sorts of careers and a lot of money (literally tens of billions of dollars each year) are dependent upon a steady supply of offenders - even if they have to pass new laws creating new categories of offenders (this especially applies to drugs). This is why many have used such terms like "crime control industry" or "criminal justice industrial complex." Agencies within this complex can sort of "have their cake and eat it too" in that they can have it both ways: when what they do is clearly failing they can merely claim that the problem still exists and they need to continuing doing the same thing (with more money of course). Obviously when things are going well they can take responsibility. This is the pattern with local police departments and in fact the entire system, namely that when crime is down they take credit because of some program in place; however, when crime goes up, they can shift responsibility to all sorts of variables. Favorites include a growing population in their jurisdiction (which is not usually that relevant), a growing youth or "crime risk" population (again, not that critical), "broken" or "dysfunctional" families and, two of my favorites, "outside influences" (e.g., gangs moving) or "liberal programs." Another way of putting this is that, as Jeff Reiman has observed, nothing succeeds like failure! A friend once told me something he learned when studying for his MBA. It is called "optimal starting and stopping points." What this means is that in order to bolster your argument or to make a case that what you are doing is working you pick out a time period that best represents your success and avoid time periods that do not. So it has been with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Matt Robinson and Renee Scherlen do an exceptional job of showing exactly this in Damned Lies and Drug War Statistics. They do this by critically examining six years (2000-2006) of the National Drug Control Strategy. They read through each and every annual report, looking especially for both accurate and inaccurate use of statistics and evidence of honesty and dishonesty in each report. They examined each and every claim made by ONDCP and evaluated ONDCP's stated goals (e.g., reducing drug use and drug availability). What they found for each year, almost without exception, was an almost total misuse of some very simple statistics (e.g., from various annual drug surveys, such as NHSDA, ADAM, MTF). They discovered that in many instances ONDCP employed the "optimal starting and stopping points." For instance, Robinson and Scherlen found that for the 2000 strategy report ONDCP uses a baseline of 1985 that shows a decline in drug use from that year to 1999. Yet the ONDCP was not started until 1988 and the largest drop in drug use was between 1985 and 1988, with the rate remaining steady for the rest of the decade. Other reports use 1979 as a starting point (the peak of drug use). On another occasion the ONDCP claims to prove that George Bush's goal during his 2002 "State of the Union speech of a 10% reduction of drug use by youth within two years was met, but uses a time period that started one year prior to Bush's speech! The authors also found numerous instances where they cite declines in youth drug use during a certain period, but ignore the fact that drug use was increasing among adults. In some cases the ONDCP reproduces a chart that clearly shows drug use increasing, but fail to comment on this rather obvious evidence of failure. On the other hand, on some occasions the ONDCP readily admits "disturbing trends" such as the fact that throughout the decade of the 1990s drug use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders (Monitoring the Future) is "close to record highs." Yet in this case, the ONDCP sort of ignores such an obvious failure and instead uses this as evidence of a need to get tougher in the war on drugs! Nothing succeeds like failure! Robinson and Scherlen note that ONDCP tends to "celebrate declines even when they are short-term or occurred a decade ago, and downplay increases unless they are being used to create alarm" (p. 66). More examples like this are presented throughout this book. Perhaps more importantly, even when there are some decreases in drug use, ONDCP fails to provide any evidence that this is because of what they did. Moreover, like I said above concerning police departments, Robinson and Scherlen note that "ONDCP only takes credit when drug use trends decline, but takes no responsibility when drug use trends increase" (p. 68). One of the most important chapters in this book is chapters 5 and 6 where they examine ONDCP's claims of success in "healing America's drug users and disrupting drug markets" and claims concerning the costs of the drug war. In these two chapters Robinson and Scherlen also critically examine ONDCP claims about the nature of the drug problem itself. First, ONDCP fails to differentiate between drug use and drug abuse and instead claims that "Drug use promises one thing but delivers something else – something sad and debilitating for users, their families, and their communities. The deception can be masked for some time, and it is during this time that the habit is 'carried' by users to other vulnerable young people." This is an outlandish claim totally lacking empirical foundation. As Robinson and Scherlen correctly note, drug use does not lead to such outcomes and in fact the majority of youths who use drugs do so only a few times and quit completely in their early 20s (p. 96). Such a conclusion is a general consensus by drug experts – obviously a group ONDCP fails to consult! ONDCP also claims that drug testing is effective, yet can cite only anecdotal evidence (such as a statement by one woman based upon a one conversation with a grocery bagger – see p. 102) and ignore comprehensive studies that find that it clearly does not work (e.g., as cited on the Monitoring the Future web site). This is called "confirmation bias" – selecting evidence that supports your position while ignoring contrary evidence. The ONDCP clearly has failed to disrupt drug markets and there has been a steady decline in the price of illegal drugs, as Robinson and Scherlen clearly show with charts taken from ONDCP's report. Yes, you read this correctly: ONDCP reproduces charts that show prices falling yet fail to make any statement that suggests that their goal of raising prices by disrupting drug markets is not working! This is one of the best points about the Robinson and Scherlen book in that they use readily available data – some reproduced by ONDCP – which clearly contradict ONDCP's claims! Robinson and Scherlen also examined claims about the costs of drugs and the drug war. Once again, they demonstrate that ONDCP misuses statistics. Here the authors show that the bulk of the costs of drugs stems from the drug war itself and the fact that some drugs have been criminalized. I could go on and on with more examples. Suffice it to say that Robinson and Scherlen have provided a thorough critique of the claims made by those in charge of the drug war. This book will no doubt prove to be a valuable resource for those trying to make sense of a war that has created so much havoc within our society. Incidentally, the first two chapters provide the reader with an excellent overview on the how the drug war came to be, including a brief history of anti-drug legislation. For those not familiar with this history, these chapters will provide much needed information to fill this gap. Read it, learn from it, use it. Randall G. Shelden is Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he has been a faculty member since 1977. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Girls, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (3rd edition), with Meda Chesney-Lind (which received the Hindelang Award for outstanding contribution to Criminology in 1992); Youth Gangs in American Society (3rd ed.), with Sharon Tracy and William B. Brown (both with Wadsworth); Controlling the Dangerous Classes: A History of Criminal Justice (2nd forthcoming, Allyn and Bacon); Criminal Justice in America: A Critical View, with William B. Brown (a revised edition of this book is forthcoming with Waveland Press). His most recent book is Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society (Waveland Press). His web site is: www.sheldensays.com. (Click here to read about DRCNet's book offer for members.)

Book Offer: Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/drugwarstatisticsbook.jpg
Normally when we publish a book review in our Drug War Chronicle newsletter, it gets readers but is not among the top stories visited on the site. Recently we saw a big exception to that rule when more than 2,700 of you read our review of the new book Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Much of this reading took place during a week that had other very popular articles as well, so clearly the topic of this book, which was authored by respected academics Matthew Robinson and Renee Scherlen, has struck a chord. As well it should.

Please help DRCNet continue our own work of debunking drug war lies with a generous donation. If your donation is $32 or more, we'll send you a complimentary copy of Robinson and Scherlen's book to help you be able to debunk drug war lies too.

Over the coming weeks I will be blogging on our web site about things I've learned reading Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics. Stay tuned!

Your donation will help DRCNet as we advance what we think is an incredible two-year plan to substantially advance drug policy reform and the cause of ending prohibition globally and in the US. Please make a generous donation today to help the cause! I know you will feel the money was well spent after you see what DRCNet has in store. Our online donation form lets you donate by credit card, by PayPal, or to print out a form to send with your check or money order by mail. Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, our lobbying entity, are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible donations can be made to DRCNet Foundation, our educational wing. (Choosing a gift like Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics will reduce the portion of your donation that you can deduct by the retail cost of the item.) Both groups receive member mail at: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

Thank you for your support, and hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,


David Borden
Executive Director

P.S. You can read Chronicle editor Phil Smith's review of the book here.

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