Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use” as Want to Read:
Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  165 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Jacob Sullum goes beyond debate on legalization or the proper way to win the "war on drugs," to the heart of a social and individual defense of using drugs.

Saying Yes argues that the all-or-nothing thinking that has long dominated discussions of illegal drug use should give way to a wiser, subtler approach. Exemplified by the tradition of moderate drinking, such an approa
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 12th 2003 by Tarcher (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Saying Yes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Saying Yes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 351)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Daniel Bastian
Jan 23, 2015 Daniel Bastian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Humans have brains that are built to work on anecdote rather than real data." [Jeffrey P. Utz, MD]

Man's relationship with drugs has been one long and turbulent ride. Since first contact they've been consumed, smoked, inhaled and injected for everything from their mood-altering effects to their analgesic properties. Across generations and cultures, the legal status of nicotine, ethanol (the ingredient that supplies alcohol its intoxicating highs), cannabis and a congeries of other psychoactive s
Michael Thomas Angelo
Before the advent of Harm Reduction really came about in the public arena, there was this book which I read in the mid 1990s. It's argument is essentially along the same lines, that drug use is not a criminal act to be prosecuted and that users have rights and the ability to manage their own use without fear of stigma.
Aug 30, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly persuasive! Very good points, aimed at people who accept alcohol. The argument for temperance is organized in a way I bet some people would find neat or helpful, but after a while it becomes apparent this guy knows a lot more about certain drugs than others, and the fire in his argument slows to a flicker... One thing about this book versus another regarding today's drug laws is this has minimal stats and numbers and numbers and percents and cases and numbers like so many others are sa ...more
Dan Sharber
May 12, 2012 Dan Sharber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, drugs
awesome book. well worth the read. the author first tackles the myths of instant addiction, insanity etc etc that have been associated with illegal drugs throughout history. he also shows how most drug users are well adjusted and successful people and not the down and out junkies we are told to expect. using all this he makes a strong case for individual responsibility and general moderation in drugs and really the idea of use without apology. whether you are pro legalization or on the fence and ...more
Sebastian Stevenson
Stellar read. Avoid false prophets; avoid voodoo pharmacology.
Erica Hollinger
Jun 30, 2015 Erica Hollinger rated it it was ok
Parts of the book were interesting but I can't really recommend this.
Sullum's clear writing style and no-nonsense analysis of this issue is a breath of fresh air. I strongly suspect the only folks who will pick this up are ones already "saying yes" - so to those people I say: practice your arguments on the non-believers! And share this with other friends "saying yes" - this viewpoint deserves wider acceptance.
Al Clark
Sep 01, 2010 Al Clark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the paper equivalent of a rant from a former-addict with a fine arts Associate's degree using the language (but not structure or seriousness) of logic to defend his conviction that drug use is benign. Lots of citations that will appeal to a specific viewpoint, but that don't hold up under scrutiny.
Some very good arguments in defense of drug use. Doesn't really get into the logistics of legalizing drugs, how they might be regulated and so fourth, but does bring to light, in an almost embarrassing fashion, some of the misconceptions the general public has about recreational drug use.
Ben Kintisch
Jul 17, 2007 Ben Kintisch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Responsible Adult Drug Users and Their Loved Ones
Did you know not all users are abusers?
That, according to gov't stats, millions of Americans do (illegal) drugs regularly and still manage to be productive, good citizens? If you find yourself demonizing your use or that of others, this book may just turn those notions on their head.
Jan 24, 2008 Etan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All drugs should be legal. If you think I'm a stupid libertarian asshole for saying that, then you should read this book. It's a great primer on the issue and provides compelling arguments in support of the legalization of all drugs.
Jan 12, 2012 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boundary transgressors
Recommended to Kate by: 362.2936 S
Typical, degenerate users:

If I need to clean the house, I do a little heroin, and I can clean the house, and it just makes me feel so good.

I take heroin at the weekends in small doses, and do the gardening.
Aug 07, 2011 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sullum explodes all the myths about drug use and abuse in America, and his only failing is that he undercuts his reason by supporting the use of tobacco. Essential reading for any thinking person.
Nick Black
Jun 17, 2008 Nick Black rated it did not like it
Incredibly disappointing. After two logical fallacies within the first seven pages, I punted on this one. Stick with Huxley and (early) Leary.
Oct 21, 2009 Crbianfool rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sociological examination of why people use drugs. Interesting if a little soft.
Apr 09, 2009 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes wonky, but drives the point home and makes you think. Always good to think
Jun 14, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and humorous. I learned a lot, and recommend it to friends.
Nolan Gray
Jun 16, 2013 Nolan Gray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and sober perspective on drugs. Consider this your anti-DARE.
Jamin Batman
May 12, 2013 Jamin Batman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best case for legalizing drugs that I have ever read.
Apr 04, 2008 Erin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Who couldn't use a little vindication? :)
Jan 12, 2008 Neatplants rated it it was amazing
Shows the other side of drug use.
Kaikara Wu
Kaikara Wu is currently reading it
Apr 17, 2016
Dylan Horrocks
Dylan Horrocks marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
David rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Eoin Cannon
Eoin Cannon marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2016
Anthony Perez
Anthony Perez marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2016
Jack rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Drug Crazy: How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out
  • Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
  • Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town
  • Cannabis: A History
  • Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated
  • Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W. Bush
  • Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography
  • Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution
  • No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart: The Surprising Deceptions of Individual Choice
  • My Own Medicine: A Doctor's Life as a Patient
  • Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific
  • Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America
  • G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire
  • Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed: A Judicial Indictment Of War On Drugs
  • The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
  • What Would MacGyver Do?: True Stories of Improvised Genius in Everyday Life
  • Middletown, America: One Town's Passage from Trauma To Hope
  • Sex, Drugs and Economics: An Unconventional Intro to Economics

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »