102 years after the launch of global drug prohibition, 41 years after the official declaration of the war on drugs, World War D is an important and timely book. As the wave of support for drug reform keeps growing throughout the world, from church groups to retired law enforcement, to the NAACP, to Kofi Annan, George Shultz, Paul Volcker, and a string of former Latin American and European head of states, the concept of legalization is rapidly moving from fringe lunacy to the mainstream. Yet, to this day, no book has addressed the issue in such an analytic, global and comprehensive way. World War-D revolves around the simple but fundamental question: Are organized societies capable and willing to manage and control psychoactive substances, instead of leaving it to organized crime? This, really, is placing the bar extremely low when you think about it. Capable, we are; the book explains why and how. After all, the vast majority of psychoactive substances, including the two deadliest, are already legal and more or less efficiently controlled. Will we garner the will? Going beyond the simplistic characterizations of the War on Drugs rhetoric, World War-D clearly demonstrates that prohibition is the worst possible form of control. The so-called controlled substances are effectively out of control; or rather, they are controlled by the underworld at a staggering and ever-growing human, social, economic and geopolitical cost to the world. World War-D lays out a concrete, pragmatic, and realistic roadmap to global re-legalization founded on a multi-tiered legalize, tax, control, prevent, treat, and educate approach with practical and efficient mechanisms to manage and minimize societal costs. Far from giving up and far from an endorsement, controlled legalization would be finally growing up; being realistic instead of being in denial; being in control instead of leaving control to the underworld. It would abolish the current regime of socialization of costs and privatization of profits to criminal enterprises, depriving them of their main source of income and making our world a safer place. At a time when the current and two former US presidents have admittedly indulged, as have politicians of all stripes from Al Gore to Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin and over 50% of the adult US population, the credibility tipping point of the War on Drugs propaganda has long been passed. All that appears to be missing is the political courage to admit failure and move on to more realistic and efficient policies. What will it take for decision makers to display the wisdom and garner the courage to end the disastrous War on Drugs and responsibly take charge of drug production and trade instead of leaving it in the hands of extremely dangerous and powerful international criminal organizations?
Being quite familiar with Latin America, especially Colombia, Central America and Mexico, and witnessing the ravage created by the insane war on drugs, I had to write "World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization" (http://www.world-war-d.com/). There has to be a better way.
Voters are frequently disempowered by the very people they elect as their representatives. Rarely has there been such a gaping void between public opinion and political will, however, as there is on the question of drugs. Whilst the vast majority of the public recognised long ago that prohibition of drugs, like the experiment with prohibition of alcohol decades ago, doesn’t work, the politicians have dithered and dodged the question, failing to take effective action, whilst spending billions on ineffective policing. Jeffrey Dhywood’s excellent book, World War D, explains the history of the drug problem, examines the political action and inaction, exposes the colossal hypocrisy surrounding the issue and suggests ways the world might move forward in an effort to defeat a problem that is largely the result of lunatic legislation. Those who were unaware will learn how drugs, once a legal component of everyday medicines and other stimulants, were demonised and became the cause of criminalisation of huge numbers of otherwise normal citizens all over the world. They’ll learn the hypocrisy of figures such as Newt Gingrich, a user who believes it wasn’t immoral (though it was illegal) for him to indulge but who now believes current users are the scum of the Earth and act in an immoral way by taking the same substances. It’s probably common knowledge by now that alcohol is a far more dangerous substance than most drugs within society and, of course, we’re all familiar with the role of tobacco and the tobacco industry in causing major damage to the general health of the world. What is not, perhaps, generally understood is that drugs themselves are relatively harmless in most cases and it’s the criminalisation of drug users that is the source of most problems. It has long been known that governments have used drugs as a way of undermining other governments: our own UK government almost destroyed China with the Opium Wars, and the CIA is documented as having destabilised many small regimes by its use of drug smuggling. The most vocal opponent of the removal of criminalisation of drugs is the USA, even though many of its former presidents now actively, or in some cases, secretly, consider that decriminalisation is the only answer. One has to wonder what it is that governments feel they have to fear by taking control of this huge market. Currently, many criminal gangs and terrorist organisations, including the appalling Taliban, exist on money they obtain from the black market in drugs. The war has long been lost. All that continued criminalisation does is to ensure that criminals dealing in prostitution, child sex slavery, illegal immigration, pornography, extortion and indiscriminate violence against populations the world over continues and, indeed, expands. I am not, and never have been, a user of drugs. I prefer to be in control of my own mind. But I do drink, of course. It’s socially acceptable, isn’t it? Perhaps that’s something worth considering. Jeffrey Dhywood has done his research. The evidence he presents has been meticulously recorded and he provides links and acknowledgements of his many sources. This book is the result of a combination of careful scholarship with a passion to see injustices removed and the world improved. After reading this book, you will hopefully be convinced of the destructive inanity and hopeless failure of the War on Drugs. My hope is that everyone will read this book and take action. For those who don’t read it, but wish to know more, and maybe even consider taking action, please refer to the notes below.
LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – http://www.leap.cc/) needs your support. They’ve been fighting in the trenches for years or even decades, and they need your help.
There are also various initiatives circulating over the Internet, mostly as petitions. Join them, sign them, support them, and help their diffusion by sharing them via email or the social networks.
Jeffrey and his group are launching an ambitious initiative that you can check on their website - www.worldwar-d.com.
A hugely impressive book, well researched. It belongs to the top of the New York Times best-seller list.
The author’s objective with this book – as I understand it – is to promote attitudinal and legislative change with respect to the way society deals with drugs. This makes me ask two questions: A) Does the book live up to that expectation? Yes, I think it does. B) Is the book as convincing as it could be? Well, let’s see.
This is a hugely impressive book. It is well researched, well written and full of interesting historical, scientific, legislative, social, medical and other relevant information. There are lots of details about psychoactive substances (drugs), about the workings of our brain, about consequences, costs and political issues associated with today’s largely ineffective war against drugs. The author is brilliant in the way he presents these many topics and links them to the book’s objective. From this perspective I would give this book more than five stars if this were possible.
However – as I progressed towards the middle and through the second half of the book, I started to feel slightly uncomfortable. I felt overwhelmed by the information, I wondered about the relevance of all the information and I started to just glance at some sections of the book without reading every sentence. Reflecting on this situation now and returning to the second question above, I am inclined to say the book is not as convincing as it could be. It is thought-provoking, it is nevertheless a five star book, but I really would like to see added to a revised version of the book a powerful “Summary and Conclusion”. At present the book has a rather brief conclusion entitled “A Call to Action”. This is okay for people who made the effort to fully read and digest the previous 99% of the book. The most convincing core sections and paragraphs about why attitudinal and legislative changes are so important can be found at many places throughout the book. To pull them out and present them in a powerful twenty to thirty page “Summary and Conclusion” could, in my opinion, add an extra dimension to this book. Nevertheless, this is a brilliant book which I highly recommend.
WORLD WAR D is a hefty book of 435 pages that serves as a platform for author Jeffrey Dhywood to illuminate his readers on why the use of drugs - whether psychoactive prescription drugs or cocaine or marijuana or heroin or opium or crystal meth, LSD etc - continues to be an ever increasing problem throughout the world. The cost of the illegal or abused drug market creates crime, addiction, organized crime in cartels resulting in smuggling/selling/inducing needless street warfare, and death. In his words, `Going beyond the simplistic characterizations of the War on Drugs rhetoric, "World War-D" clearly demonstrates that prohibition is the worst possible form of control. The so-called "controlled substances" are effectively out of control; or rather, they are controlled by the underworld at a staggering and ever-growing human, social, economic and geopolitical cost to the world.' Dhywood pleads for altering this trend by legalizing drug sales in a regulated manner and in doing so reverse the problem much the way the repealing prohibition of the sale of alcohol resulted in diminished crime and societal destruction.
But who is Jeffrey Dhywood and how did he become such a banner man for the cause of the reversing the problem we currently face in keeping drugs illegal? The only supplied biography states, `Jeffrey Dhywood is a European-born investigative writer, lecturer and public speaker. He earned a master degree in Mathematics and Logics from a prestigious French school before getting involved at various levels of the drug scene, and was closely stricken by the tragedy of drug abuse. Jeffrey Dhywood lived 20 years in the US and is currently living in Latin America. He is also very familiar with Asia, which gives him a good grasp of the global dimension of the War on Drugs, and its global failure. His academic background allows him to bring common sense and sanity to an issue often mired in confusion, misconceptions and preconceptions'. But the author of this book is well informed about pharmacology, biochemistry, and the very pointed field of the effects of all manner of drugs on brain function. He presents exhaustive data on all the forms of drugs including alcohol that affect brain function.
And in addition to the pharmacologic data presented here Dhywood details the history of drugs around the globe with more information on the effects of criminalization of drugs on the environment, the human costs of the war on drugs, the corruption, violence, erosion of civil liberties, and the impact on our prisons that results from the fact that obtaining the substances that so many people demand in order to cope with the world can only be accomplished by criminal activity.
For this reader the author's own statement of the reason for writing this book is the strongest argument: ` "Word War-D" is the first book to tackle the issue of legalization head-front, offering a pragmatic, practical, and realistic roadmap to global controlled re-legalization of production, distribution and use of psychoactive substances under a multi-tiers "legalize, tax, control, prevent, treat and educate" regime with practical and efficient mechanisms to manage and minimize societal costs. Far from giving up, and far from an endorsement, controlled legalization would be finally growing up; being realistic instead of being in denial; being in control instead of leaving control to the underworld. It would abolish the current regime of socialization of costs and privatization of profits to criminal enterprises, depriving them of their main source of income and making our world a safer place." It can't be summarized more succinctly. This book belongs in the hands of every responsible citizen, whether after reading it the reader agrees or not. At least the seeds of change would be well planted. We must change something, soon.
The war on drugs has been going on way too long. There has to be better ways. If you want to read just one book about this failed social experiment, this is it! You will understand where prohibitionism comes from, why certain substances are illegal, what are psychoactives substances and what they do to the brain, irrespective of their legal status. Mr Dhywood clearly demonstrate that the consequences of prohibition - narco-violence, corruption, organized crime, destabilization of entire regions of the world, stigmatization and criminalization of otherwise harmless citizen, accidental overdose, spread of HIV and other blood-borne diseases, etc The book is well documented with tons of notes for further reading. More importantly, it goes beyond the statement of failure to explore realistic, credible and less harmful alternatives. Let's hope lawmakers and decision-makers take the time to read this book!