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This book includes chapters under the headings of: 1) The Opiates - Heroin, Morphine, Opium, and Methadone, 2) Caffeine, 3) Nicotine, 4) Alcohol, Barbiturates, Tranquilizers, 5) Coca, Cocaine, Amphetamines, 6) Inhalants, Solvents, Glue-Sniffing, 7) LSD & LSD-like Drugs, 8) Marijuana & Hashish, 9) The Drug Scene, and 10) Conclusions and Recommendations. The author, Edward M. Brecher (1912-1989), was a well-known American science writer and book author, best known for his contributions in addiction research, human sexuality, and for his advocacy of rights for people who choose to commit suicide. Among Brecher's best-known works were two books published by Consumers Union, The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs (1972) and Love, Sex and Aging (1984). An editorial published in The New York Times after his death observed: Edward Brecher, who recently ended his own life before cancer could take it from him, had a celebrated career as a writer on a variety of scientific topics. But in 1972 he left a monument as the author of the Consumer Union book 'Licit and Illicit Drugs'. That towering work of scholarship laid out most of what has been learned - and selectively forgotten - about heroin, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, barbiturates, amphetamines, tranquilizers, cocaine, LSD and marijuana. But Mr. Brecher was more than a compiler of facts, and 'Licit and Illicit Drugs' is more than a primer on addiction. He pierced the veil of moral righteousness and special pleading that still colors drug policy, offering sober prescriptions for limiting the damage that many Americans still don't want to hear. The editorial concluded: Good or bad, marijuana is here to stay. The billions spent to fight it are wasted dollars. Indeed, they may be worse than wasted: properly regulated, marijuana might serve as a less dangerous substitute for alcohol. This is an important book.
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