- David Borden, Executive Director
Two evenings ago, I got a call from the local bookstore in my neighborhood, letting me know that a copy of the book I had inquired about -- DRUG CRAZY: How We Got INTO THIS MESS & How We Can GET OUT -- had arrived. I picked it up yesterday morning -- my personal copy -- and returned yesterday evening to recommend the book and ask whether they had more copies in stock. I was told that two more were on order, perhaps because a copy had been purchased.
It was early in DRCNet's history, 1994, when author Mike Gray found us on the Usenet talk groups, signed up, and told me about a book he was working on that would lay out the enormous damage being wrought by the prohibition laws, in a way, he hoped, that would speak to the all-powerful Middle America. I was excited to hear about the project, particularly because of Mike's illustrious career -- his credits include the hit movie "The China Syndrome" -- I figured that this guy was good, and if anyone could pull it off, it would be him. Mike later joined our advisory board, at my invitation.
Drug Crazy took until now to complete because of the meticulous research that went into it -- practically every page required its own research project, taking Mike from Chicago, to Liverpool, to who knows where -- and because Mike continued to write about the history as it unfolded, all the way through last year. There are portions of the book that made me stop and think, "wait a minute, that's not history yet!" Like drug czar McCaffrey's foolish praise of his Mexican counterpart Jesus Guttierez Rebollo, who was arrested weeks later for being on the drug lords' payroll -- or the state of Virginia's ill-advised targeting of pain doctor William Hurwitz, with tragic consequences for his patients -- or the passage of California's Prop. 215. After all these years, I am looking at an actual copy of the book, no less timely.
A chapter that is sure to rivet you to your seat is chapter one, "A Tale of Two Cities -- Chicago: 1995/1925", contrasting a narrative of a fast-paced drug raid/shooting spree from our time, with the story of Alcohol Prohibition, 70 years in the past.
My favorite passage from the book is from chapter six, "The River of Money," where Mike takes readers to the Peruvian jungle to witness the futility of the "Andean Initiative" for themselves: "Three thousand miles to the south, where the headwaters of the Amazon spring from the Andean cordillera, an aging Vietnam-era Huey was choppering through the jungle haze, and in the doorway, like a haunting snapshot of another era, a DEA agent in green fatigues cradled an AR-15 automatic as he scanned the undulating landscape."
I am sharing these personal recollections, in the hope that you will get inspired, and will call or visit your local Border's, or Barnes & Noble, other chains or independent bookstores, ask if they have a copy of DRUG CRAZY from Random House, and maybe pick one up, so the stores will order two more, or five, or ten, or even create a display. So that more thinking citizens will receive this vital information, feel some of the horror and the anger that led me and many of you to get involved, and stand with us to demand change.
And when some of them do decide to take a stand, they will be able to find us on the Internet, using the comprehensive index of reform groups and resources provided in Appendix B. The introduction to the appendix is a brief history of how DRCNet got started and what it has become. So your support for DRUG CRAZY will not only educate the public, but will build DRCNet and the movement as a whole. Call today!
(Take a look at the book cover in last week's WOL archive, at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-22.html#drugcrazy. You can order the book there through amazon.com, and DRCNet will earn a 15% commission off of your purchase -- though we urge you to go the bookstore route instead to help the book go big. If, as in chapter six, you do go the amazon route, make sure to buy directly through our link -- otherwise, we'll only earn 5%, or possibly nothing.)