Has a War on Drugs Ever Been Won?

Society’s battle against what Richard Nixon called ‘public enemy number one’ is an ancient one. Is there any sense in fighting?

Oil painting of a man smoking an opium pipe, Europe
Detail from an oil painting of a man smoking an opium pipe, date unknown. This picture hung in an opium den in London’s Victoria Street, run by Ah Sing (d. 1890). Sing’s opium den was probably the most famous of the dens in Victorian London, and was the model for the one described in ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ by Charles Dickens. Wellcome Collection/Science Museum.

‘Once supply and demand are established, prohibitions are counterproductive’

Mike Jay, Author of Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic (Yale University Press, 2021)

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