DRUGS IN AMERICA by Vincent Bugliosi


A Citizen's Call to Action
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 A thoughtful and thought-provoking agenda for winning the war on drugs. Best known as the D.A. who nailed Charles Manson, Bugliosi (And the Sea Will Tell, with Bruce B. Henderson, 1990; Helter- Skelter, 1974, etc.) offers an attention-grabbing battle plan for curbing, if not eliminating, an illegal trade that yields traffickers over $120 billion annually and creates for Americans incalculable amounts of drug-related crime, violence, and human suffering. While Bugliosi focuses on cocaine, he argues that his recommendations are equally applicable to heroin, marijuana, and other controlled substances. After outlining the dimensions of the threat and providing persuasive evidence that neither interdiction nor eradication campaigns have proved fruitful, Bugliosi lobs the first of his two bombshells. His keynote counsel is to deploy military personnel on Colombian soil (with or without Bogot†'s permission) for the limited purpose of apprehending drug lords and bringing them to the US for criminal prosecution. As he makes clear in a lengthy presentation replete with legal citations, the nation's chief executive has not only a well-established right but also ``an explicit constitutional duty to pursue this course of action.'' Bugliosi's companion proposals are as arresting: a dual- currency system featuring new notes for use in the US and greenbacks that would remain legal tender abroad (albeit without value domestically), plus federal agents in residence at big-city banks to preclude money laundering at its choke-point sources. In aid of his initiatives, Bugliosi again supplies a wealth of precedent that promises to convince most readers he has a case that's at least supportable. Beyond his centerpiece suggestion, he implies in a sidelight chapter that legalization of illicit drugs might not be such a bad idea, given gridlocked courts and the escalating price of ineffectual enforcement. A closely reasoned and engrossing appeal for dramatically new, even draconian, strategies in combating a scourge that most opinion polls put atop any short list of urgent socioeconomic problems.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1991
ISBN: 1-56129-064-5
Page count: 304pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991


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