Did Nixon Get the War on Drugs Right? Michael Massing’s The Fix

The Fix with the aid of Michael Massing. Berkeley, CA: Cannabidiolcbd of California Press, 2000, 335 pp., $25.00.

The dirt jacket of Michael Massing’s The Fix summarizes his thesis in formidable crimson letters: “Under the Nixon Administration, America Had an Effective Drug Policy. WE SHOULD RESTORE IT. (Nixon Was Right).” That is a pretty exquisite declare to make regarding an management that gained office in large part thru the “Southern Strategy” that had at its heart Nixon’s assertion of a “War on Drugs” and whose rules created the cocaine epidemic that precipitated so many new issues a decade later. At maximum, I would agree that the Nixon management’s pursuit of a fundamentally awful policy blanketed a few profitable efforts which have been devalued by every next administration. This changed into not due to the fact Nixon or his closest advisers have been right approximately drug policy but because Nixon become extra inquisitive about overseas policy troubles and his benign forget of home policy allowed a number of tremendous developments to blossom in the midst of the mire of incompetence and corruption that characterised his presidency.

Perceptively concluding that “regulations being formulated in Washington nowadays endure little relation to what’s taking region on the road,” Massing tries to depict the real consequences of drug policy at the road stage. Unfortunately, he doesn’t rely on the epidemiologic proof or examine the cautious analyses performed by researchers like myself who have systematically tested what is clearly taking region on the street. Instead he is predicated on the journalist’s regular — and commonly misleading — tool of dramatic anecdotes.

Massing’s anecdotal case is provided via the stories of Raphael Flores and Yvonne Hamilton. Flores runs Hot Line Cares, a drop-in center for addicts in Spanish Harlem. Hot Line Cares, which Flores based in 1970, is largely only a cramped office in of an otherwise deserted tenement wherein Flores and his staff propose and help addicts who need to get into treatment. Given the fragmented state of drug abuse treatment in New York City, and in maximum other American groups, it is no clean challenge to attach addicts with suitable care and even tougher to connect them with good enough aftercare. Massing writes, “If a Holiday Inn is complete, it will at the least name the Ramada down the street to see if it has a vacancy. Not so remedy packages”

Yvonne Hamilton is a crack addict trying to get her existence together. Massing describes her trials and tribulations as she copes together with her illness and makes her manner thru New York City’s remedy non-machine. It is an affecting tale and well told. The writer provides it as an argument for treatment and perversely as an issue towards decriminalization or legalization. But she is one of the many examples that display that prohibition does no longer prevent addiction. And upgrades in her drug problem seem to have less to do with the treatment she did receive than with modifications in her life state of affairs.

Tags :