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Despite the massive policing effort and significant funds devoted to the War on Drugs, the drug problem continues. Most scholarship about the War on Drugs argues that it began in the early 1970s. The United States has, however, pursued a prohibitionist, supply-side approach to the control of drugs since the first decade of the twentieth century, and it has promoted that approach around the world. Exploring this longer history reveals some of the reasons the War on Drugs has persisted.

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Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 1
Benedict
,
Carol
.
Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550–2010
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2011
.
Breen
,
Benjamin
.
The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade
.
Philadelphia
:
University of Pennsylvania Press
,
2019
.
Courtwright
,
David T.
Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2001
.
Goodman
,
Jordan
, et al
, eds.
Consuming Habits: Global and Historical Perspectives on How Cultures Define Drugs
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2007
.
Mintz
,
Sidney W.
Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
.
New York
:
Viking
,
1985
.
Norton
,
Marcy
.
Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World
.
Ithaca, NY
:
Cornell University Press
,
2008
.
Zheng
,
Yangwen
.
Social Life of Opium in China
.
Cambridge, UK
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2005
.
Chapter 2
Berridge
,
Virginia
.
Opium and the People: Opiate Use and Drug Control Policy in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century England
.
New York
:
Free Association Books
,
1999
.
Courtwright
,
David T.
Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2001
.
Kadia
,
Miriam Kingsberg
.
Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2014
.
Madancy
,
Joyce A.
The Troublesome Legacy of Commissioner Lin: The Opium Trade and Opium Suppression in Fujian Province, 1820s–1920s
.
Harvard East Asian Monographs
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2004
.
Padwa
,
Howard
.
Social Poison: The Politics and Culture of Opiate Control in Britain and France, 1821–1926
.
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2012
.
Rimner
,
Steffen
.
Opium's Long Shadow: From Asian Revolt to Global Drug Control
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2018
.
Rush
,
James R.
Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860–1910
.
Ithaca, NY
:
Cornell University Press
,
1990
.
Chapter 3
Foster
,
Anne L.
The Philippines, the United States, and the Origins of Global Narcotics Prohibition
.”
Social History of Alcohol and Drugs
33
, no.
1
(
March
2019
):
13
26
.
Gootenberg
,
Paul
.
Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2008
.
Kim
,
Diana S.
Empires of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition across Southeast Asia
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
,
2020
.
Pliley
,
Jessica R.
, et al
, eds.
Global Anti-Vice Activism, 1890–1950: Fighting Drinks, Drugs, and “Immorality.”
New York
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2016
.
Trocki
,
Carl A.
Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian Opium Trade, 1750–1950
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
1999
.
Tyrrell
,
Ian R.
Reforming the World: The Creation of America's Moral Empire
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
,
2010
.
Chapter 4
Abbenhuis
,
Maartje
.
The Hague Conferences and International Politics, 1898–1915
.
New York
:
Bloomsbury Academic
,
2019
.
McAllister
,
William B.
Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2000
.
Pedersen
,
Susan
.
The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
2015
.
Wright
,
Ashley
.
Opium and Empire in Southeast Asia: Regulating Consumption in British Burma
.
Houndmills, UK
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2014
.
Chapter 5
Amador
,
José
.
Medicine and Nation Building in the Americas, 1890–1940
.
Nashville, TN
:
Vanderbilt University Press
,
2015
.
Anderson
,
Warwick
.
Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
,
2006
.
Chakrabarti
,
Patik
.
Medicine and Empire, 1600–1960
.
Basingstoke, UK
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2014
.
Dube
,
Francis
.
Public Health at the Border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, 1890–1940: African Experiences in a Contested Space
.
Cham, Switzerland
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2020
.
Monnais
,
Laurence
, and
Harold J.
Cook
.
Global Movements, Local Concerns: Medicine and Health in Southeast Asia
.
Singapore
:
National University of Singapore Press
,
2012
.
Spillane
,
Joseph F.
Cocaine: From Medical Marvel to Modern Menace in the United States, 1884–1920
.
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2002
.
Chapter 6
Andreas
,
Peter
.
Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2020
.
Harrison
,
Mark
.
Medicine and Victory: British Military Medicine in the Second World War
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2004
.
McAllister
,
William B.
Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2000
.
McCoy
,
Alfred W.
The Politics of Heroin: cia Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
.
Chicago
:
Lawrence Hill Books
,
2003
.
Pembleton
,
Matthew
.
Containing Addiction: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Origins of America's Global Drug War
.
Amherst
:
University of Massachusetts Press
,
2017
.
Rasmussen
,
Nicolas
.
On Speed: From Benzedrine to Adderall
.
New York
:
New York University Press
,
2008
.
Reiss
,
Suzanna
.
We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2014
.
Chapter 7
Bradford
,
James Tharin
.
Poppies, Politics, and Power: Afghanistan and the Global History of Drugs and Diplomacy
.
Ithaca, NY
:
Cornell University Press
,
2019
.
Carey
,
Elaine
.
Women Drug Traffickers: Mules, Bosses, and Organized Crime
.
Albuquerque
:
University of New Mexico Press
,
2014
.
McAllister
,
William B.
Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2000
.
McCoy
,
Alfred W.
The Politics of Heroin: cia Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
.
Chicago
:
Lawrence Hill Books
,
2003
.
Chapter 8
Campbell
,
Nancy D.
Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research
.
Ann Arbor
:
University of Michigan Press
,
2007
.
Dyck
,
Erika
.
Psychedelic Psychiatry: lsd from Clinic to Campus
.
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2008
.
Herzberg
,
David
.
White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2020
.
Kuzmarov
,
Jeremy
.
Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs
.
Amherst
:
University of Massachusetts Press
,
2009
.
Schneider
,
Eric
.
Smack: Heroin and the American City
.
Philadelphia
:
University of Pennsylvania Press
,
2013
.
Tomes
,
Nancy
.
Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2016
.
Chapter 9
Britto
,
Lina
.
Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia's First Drug Paradise
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2020
.
Dufton
,
Emily
.
Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America
.
New York
:
Basic Books
,
2017
.
Farber
,
David R.
, ed.
The War on Drugs: A History
.
New York
:
New York University Press
,
2022
.
Gootenberg
,
Paul
.
Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2008
.
Koram
,
Kojo
, ed.
The War on Drugs and the Global Colour Line
.
London
:
Pluto Press
,
2019
.
McCoy
,
Alfred W.
The Politics of Heroin: cia Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
.
Chicago
:
Lawrence Hill Books
,
2003
.
Musto
,
David
.
The American Disease: Origins of Narcotics Control
. 3rd ed.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
1999
.
Chapter 10
Alexander
,
Michelle
.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
. 10th anniversary ed.
New York
:
New Press
,
2020
.
Farber
,
David
.
Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed
.
New York
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2019
.
Fortner
,
Michael Javen
.
Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2015
.
Kohler-Hausman
,
Julilly
. “
‘The Attila the Hun Law’: New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Making of a Punitive State
.”
Journal of Social History
44
, no.
1
(
September
2010
):
71
96
.
Lassiter
,
Matthew D.
Impossible Criminals: The Suburban Imperatives of America's War on Drugs
.”
Journal of American History
102
, no.
1
(
June
2015
):
126
40
.
Massing
,
Michael
.
The Fix
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2000
.
Sherry
,
Michael S.
The Punitive Turn: How the United States Learned to Fight Crime Like a War
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2020
.
Tallaksen
,
Amund R.
Junkies and Jim Crow: The Boggs Act of 1951 and the Racial Transformation of New Orleans’ Heroin Market
.”
Journal of Urban History
45
, no.
2
(
2019
):
230
46
.
Chapter 11
Johnson
,
Nick
.
Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West
.
Corvallis
:
Oregon State University Press
,
2017
.
Lyons
,
Kristina
. “
Decomposition as Life Politics: Soils, Selva, and Small Farmers under the Gun of the Colombia-U.S. War on Drugs
.”
Cultural Anthropology
31
, no.
1
(
2016
):
56
81
.
Miller
,
Char
, ed.
Where There's Smoke: The Environmental Science, Public Policy and Politics of Marijuana
.
Lawrence
:
University of Kansas Press
,
2018
.
Stoa
,
Ryan
.
Craft Weed: Family Farming and the Future of the Marijuana Industry
.
Cambridge, MA
:
MIT Press
,
2018
.
Weimer
,
Daniel
. “
The Politics of Contamination: Herbicides, Drug Control, and Environmental Law
.”
Diplomatic History
41
, no.
5
(
November
2017
):
847
73
.
Chapter 12
Campos
,
Isaac
.
Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico's War on Drugs
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2012
.
Dufton
,
Emily
.
Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America
.
New York
:
Basic Books
,
2017
.
Johnson
,
Nick
.
Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West
.
Corvallis
:
Oregon State University Press
,
2017
.
Smith
,
Benjamin T.
The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade
.
New York
:
W. W. Norton
,
2021
.
Stoa
,
Ryan
.
Craft Weed: Family Farming and the Future of the Marijuana Industry
.
Cambridge, MA
:
MIT Press
,
2018
.
Chapter 13
Campbell
,
Nancy D.
od: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose
.
Cambridge, MA
:
MIT Press
,
2020
.
Courtwright
,
David T.
The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
,
2019
.
Garriott
,
William
.
Policing Methamphetamine: Narcopolitics in Rural America
.
New York
:
New York University Press
,
2011
.
Herzberg
,
David
.
White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2020
.
Keefe
,
Patrick Radden
.
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
.
London
:
Picador
,
2022
.
Szalavitz
,
Maia
.
Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction
.
New York
:
Hachette
,
2021
.

Figures & Tables

Contents

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References

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 1
Benedict
,
Carol
.
Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550–2010
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2011
.
Breen
,
Benjamin
.
The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade
.
Philadelphia
:
University of Pennsylvania Press
,
2019
.
Courtwright
,
David T.
Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2001
.
Goodman
,
Jordan
, et al
, eds.
Consuming Habits: Global and Historical Perspectives on How Cultures Define Drugs
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2007
.
Mintz
,
Sidney W.
Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
.
New York
:
Viking
,
1985
.
Norton
,
Marcy
.
Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World
.
Ithaca, NY
:
Cornell University Press
,
2008
.
Zheng
,
Yangwen
.
Social Life of Opium in China
.
Cambridge, UK
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2005
.
Chapter 2
Berridge
,
Virginia
.
Opium and the People: Opiate Use and Drug Control Policy in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century England
.
New York
:
Free Association Books
,
1999
.
Courtwright
,
David T.
Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2001
.
Kadia
,
Miriam Kingsberg
.
Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2014
.
Madancy
,
Joyce A.
The Troublesome Legacy of Commissioner Lin: The Opium Trade and Opium Suppression in Fujian Province, 1820s–1920s
.
Harvard East Asian Monographs
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2004
.
Padwa
,
Howard
.
Social Poison: The Politics and Culture of Opiate Control in Britain and France, 1821–1926
.
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2012
.
Rimner
,
Steffen
.
Opium's Long Shadow: From Asian Revolt to Global Drug Control
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2018
.
Rush
,
James R.
Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860–1910
.
Ithaca, NY
:
Cornell University Press
,
1990
.
Chapter 3
Foster
,
Anne L.
The Philippines, the United States, and the Origins of Global Narcotics Prohibition
.”
Social History of Alcohol and Drugs
33
, no.
1
(
March
2019
):
13
26
.
Gootenberg
,
Paul
.
Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2008
.
Kim
,
Diana S.
Empires of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition across Southeast Asia
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
,
2020
.
Pliley
,
Jessica R.
, et al
, eds.
Global Anti-Vice Activism, 1890–1950: Fighting Drinks, Drugs, and “Immorality.”
New York
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2016
.
Trocki
,
Carl A.
Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian Opium Trade, 1750–1950
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
1999
.
Tyrrell
,
Ian R.
Reforming the World: The Creation of America's Moral Empire
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
,
2010
.
Chapter 4
Abbenhuis
,
Maartje
.
The Hague Conferences and International Politics, 1898–1915
.
New York
:
Bloomsbury Academic
,
2019
.
McAllister
,
William B.
Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2000
.
Pedersen
,
Susan
.
The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
2015
.
Wright
,
Ashley
.
Opium and Empire in Southeast Asia: Regulating Consumption in British Burma
.
Houndmills, UK
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2014
.
Chapter 5
Amador
,
José
.
Medicine and Nation Building in the Americas, 1890–1940
.
Nashville, TN
:
Vanderbilt University Press
,
2015
.
Anderson
,
Warwick
.
Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
,
2006
.
Chakrabarti
,
Patik
.
Medicine and Empire, 1600–1960
.
Basingstoke, UK
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2014
.
Dube
,
Francis
.
Public Health at the Border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, 1890–1940: African Experiences in a Contested Space
.
Cham, Switzerland
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2020
.
Monnais
,
Laurence
, and
Harold J.
Cook
.
Global Movements, Local Concerns: Medicine and Health in Southeast Asia
.
Singapore
:
National University of Singapore Press
,
2012
.
Spillane
,
Joseph F.
Cocaine: From Medical Marvel to Modern Menace in the United States, 1884–1920
.
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2002
.
Chapter 6
Andreas
,
Peter
.
Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2020
.
Harrison
,
Mark
.
Medicine and Victory: British Military Medicine in the Second World War
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2004
.
McAllister
,
William B.
Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2000
.
McCoy
,
Alfred W.
The Politics of Heroin: cia Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
.
Chicago
:
Lawrence Hill Books
,
2003
.
Pembleton
,
Matthew
.
Containing Addiction: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Origins of America's Global Drug War
.
Amherst
:
University of Massachusetts Press
,
2017
.
Rasmussen
,
Nicolas
.
On Speed: From Benzedrine to Adderall
.
New York
:
New York University Press
,
2008
.
Reiss
,
Suzanna
.
We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2014
.
Chapter 7
Bradford
,
James Tharin
.
Poppies, Politics, and Power: Afghanistan and the Global History of Drugs and Diplomacy
.
Ithaca, NY
:
Cornell University Press
,
2019
.
Carey
,
Elaine
.
Women Drug Traffickers: Mules, Bosses, and Organized Crime
.
Albuquerque
:
University of New Mexico Press
,
2014
.
McAllister
,
William B.
Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2000
.
McCoy
,
Alfred W.
The Politics of Heroin: cia Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
.
Chicago
:
Lawrence Hill Books
,
2003
.
Chapter 8
Campbell
,
Nancy D.
Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research
.
Ann Arbor
:
University of Michigan Press
,
2007
.
Dyck
,
Erika
.
Psychedelic Psychiatry: lsd from Clinic to Campus
.
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2008
.
Herzberg
,
David
.
White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2020
.
Kuzmarov
,
Jeremy
.
Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs
.
Amherst
:
University of Massachusetts Press
,
2009
.
Schneider
,
Eric
.
Smack: Heroin and the American City
.
Philadelphia
:
University of Pennsylvania Press
,
2013
.
Tomes
,
Nancy
.
Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2016
.
Chapter 9
Britto
,
Lina
.
Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia's First Drug Paradise
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
2020
.
Dufton
,
Emily
.
Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America
.
New York
:
Basic Books
,
2017
.
Farber
,
David R.
, ed.
The War on Drugs: A History
.
New York
:
New York University Press
,
2022
.
Gootenberg
,
Paul
.
Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2008
.
Koram
,
Kojo
, ed.
The War on Drugs and the Global Colour Line
.
London
:
Pluto Press
,
2019
.
McCoy
,
Alfred W.
The Politics of Heroin: cia Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
.
Chicago
:
Lawrence Hill Books
,
2003
.
Musto
,
David
.
The American Disease: Origins of Narcotics Control
. 3rd ed.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
1999
.
Chapter 10
Alexander
,
Michelle
.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
. 10th anniversary ed.
New York
:
New Press
,
2020
.
Farber
,
David
.
Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed
.
New York
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2019
.
Fortner
,
Michael Javen
.
Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
2015
.
Kohler-Hausman
,
Julilly
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