Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jeff Sessions Wants It To Be 1930

Even with respect to drugs, everything old is new again. Jeff Sessions is not just trying to take drug policy back to the 1960s, his ideas take us all the way back to a time around 1930.

It we did a survey, most people think that the modern day war on drugs started with Richard Nixon, continued with Nancy Reagan's “just way no,” and reached some kind of crescendo of absurdity with Bill Clinton’s “I didn't’ inhale”

The fact is, that the drug war really began in the 1930’s. That all of the antecedents of the modern day drug war have deep roots in race and politics.  It’s why it has been so difficult to pull them out. The attitude is ingrained in our national culture, and as business guru Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for lunch.”

Alexandra Chasin, is an associate professor of literary studies at Eugene Lang College, the New School.  She looks at the origins of this war in Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger’s War on Drugs.

My conversation with Alexandra Chasin: