Rumor and Libel: Regulating Cannabis in the Panama Canal Zone, 1914-1935.

On October 2, 1935, in the midst of Reefer Madness, Nelson Rounsevell was convicted of a single libel charge in a Panama Canal Zone District Court. Rounsevell, editor of the bilingual Panama American had published a series of editorials in the summer of 1935 alleging that Colonel James V. Heidt and Major General Harold B. FiskeContinue reading “Rumor and Libel: Regulating Cannabis in the Panama Canal Zone, 1914-1935.”

“From Whence It Came”: Rethinking the Federal Role When Discussing the War on Drugs

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Matthew June, a PhD candidate at Northwestern University. June’s current work studies the sources of federal power to prosecute national drug laws. The United States has a massive prison problem. As more attention has been drawn to this stark reality, it has become equally clear that there are noContinue reading ““From Whence It Came”: Rethinking the Federal Role When Discussing the War on Drugs”

Why did the FBI stop their investigation of Straight, Incorporated?

Editor’s Note: Today we welcome a post from Marcus Chatfield, who has spent years studying Straight, Inc. Chatfield is a recent graduate of Goddard College, where he received an Individualized Bachelor of Arts degree in the prevention of institutional child abuse. His undergraduate thesis, Institutionalized Persuasion, was self-published in December, 2014. He is a prospectiveContinue reading “Why did the FBI stop their investigation of Straight, Incorporated?”

Points Roundtable, “Becoming a Marihuana User”: Howard Becker

Editor’s Note: In this, our last installment of the Points roundtable on Howard Becker’s Becoming a Marihuana User, we are thrilled to welcome the author himself. Here, Becker responds to our previous contributors and offers some insights of his own.  We’d also like to take this opportunity to once again thank Nancy Campbell, Mary Jane Gibson,Continue reading “Points Roundtable, “Becoming a Marihuana User”: Howard Becker”

The Forgotten Drug War: One Million Drug Addicts (Washington, D.C., 1919)

In 1918, the Treasury Department established a Special Narcotic Committee, tasked with reviewing the scope of the drug problem in the United States. The Committee issued its final report, Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, in June of 1919. The product of a year’s worth of work by a committee which included reputable figures in the drugContinue reading “The Forgotten Drug War: One Million Drug Addicts (Washington, D.C., 1919)”

The Forgotten Drug War: Unknown Malaria Victim (New Orleans, 1932)

“The real war will never get in the books”–Walt Whitman, 1875 On October 31, 1932, Charity Hospital in New Orleans admitted a comatose man, diagnosed with malaria and thought to be an opiate addict. The patient deserted the hospital after being revived. Two days later, he was once again brought to Charity hospital, again inContinue reading “The Forgotten Drug War: Unknown Malaria Victim (New Orleans, 1932)”

Local vs. National Alcohol Policy: The UK Edition

Virginia Berridge, a professor of history and director of the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, recently alerted Points to a new briefing her organization published earlier this year. “Local and National Alcohol Policy: How Do They Interact?” is a concise and useful treatise on the difficultiesContinue reading “Local vs. National Alcohol Policy: The UK Edition”

Road to Prohibition: Marijuana, the Long Story – Part One

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s post is the first in a two-part series by contributing editor Adam Rathge. The series is drawn from Rathge’s dissertation, which examines the century-long road to federal marijuana prohibition in the United States by analyzing the development and transformation of medical discourse, regulatory processes, and social concerns surrounding cannabis between 1840 and 1940. Robocalls. PartisanContinue reading “Road to Prohibition: Marijuana, the Long Story – Part One”

Punishing Women

Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Beavercreek, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina highlight the dangers of our current war on drugs and crime for young black men. Despite ample video evidence to the contrary, public and civic discourse still frequently turns to problematic discussions of the young black male. In teaching a course on the CrackContinue reading “Punishing Women”

The Father of the (Financial) War on Terror is the War on Drugs?

On May 31, 2014, the White House issued a cryptic press release, a brief letter from President Obama to Congress. The letter announced that the US government had decided to levy economic sanctions against Victor Cerrano, Jose Umana, and Francisco Barros, three foreign individuals from Colombia, El Savador, and Cape Verde, respectively. For some ofContinue reading “The Father of the (Financial) War on Terror is the War on Drugs?”

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