Recent News Roundup: D.C.-Criminalized Edition

As historians, we often rely on past journalistic accounts to interpret events, so it makes sense for us to also pay attention to how drugs are depicted in the news today. Not only does charting the life cycle of current drug stories place previous depictions into historical context, but it can also help us understand where we areContinue reading “Recent News Roundup: D.C.-Criminalized Edition”

“An Unmotivated and Less-Productive Populace”: Views of Drug Use in the Era of Legalization

Originally this post was going to summarize the arguments of two of the most prominent mid-century American intellectual historians and how they regarded changing notions of juvenile behavior as it involved the use of illegal drugs. But then I received something rather incredible in the mail that changed my idea for this post completely. MyContinue reading ““An Unmotivated and Less-Productive Populace”: Views of Drug Use in the Era of Legalization”

In Memoriam: Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin (1925-2014)

We’re sure that most readers of Points are already familiar with Sasha Shulgin and are aware of his passing on June 2. But the death of the man responsible for popularizing MDMA in the United States cannot go unremarked upon, especially as the slew of related news reports are bringing up important questions about theContinue reading “In Memoriam: Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin (1925-2014)”

“The Drug Store of the Future”: Prohibition and Medicalization

A few weeks ago I had spent a couple of hours surfing the National Institute of Health’s fascinating online library, Images of the History of Medicine (IHM). There I came across an image that surprised me with how relevant its message about prohibition and the subsequent medicalization of banned substances was, even now, 132 yearsContinue reading ““The Drug Store of the Future”: Prohibition and Medicalization”

The Acid Rescue Squad: Drug Education and Prevention in the 1960s and ‘70s

When the parent movement formed in the late 1970s, many activists vocally complained about the quality of drug education in their communities. Kids weren’t being told not to do drugs, the parents said. Instead, they were being taught how to do them, and in what these educators claimed was the safest and most responsible mannerContinue reading “The Acid Rescue Squad: Drug Education and Prevention in the 1960s and ‘70s”

“This Is Your Brain on Drugs”: Teaching Drug History

About midway through the semester last fall my department asked me if I wanted to teach my own course in the spring. My dissertation was basically complete and, since I wasn’t going on the academic job market this year, I felt that I had the time to dedicate to what I knew would be aContinue reading ““This Is Your Brain on Drugs”: Teaching Drug History”

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