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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

The Drug War

The Drug War

Hell No, I Won’t Go

(p.292) The Drug War
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter comments on the U.S. government’s war against drugs. To many people, especially people of color, making war on drugs means not taking it anymore, defending their lives and their children against social rot. Yet in reality the drug war has nothing to do with making communities livable or creating a decent future for black kids. On the contrary, prohibition is directly responsible for the power of crack dealers to terrorize whole neighborhoods. This chapter considers the basic assumptions of the drug war: that drugs are our most urgent national problem; that a drug-free society is a valid social goal; that drug use is by definition drug abuse. It also discusses the snowballing campaign for a “drug-free workplace”—a euphemism for “drug-free workforce”—as the centerpiece of the cultural counterrevolution. Finally, it argues that taking illegal drugs is not intrinsically immoral or destructive, that the state has no right to prevent anyone from exploring different states of consciousness, and that drug prohibition causes many of the evils it purports to cure.

Keywords:   drug war, drug use, drug abuse, illegal drugs, drug prohibition, drug-free workplace, cultural counterrevolution

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