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Drugs are NOT the Devil’s Tools is a fascinating, thoughtful, wonderfully illustrated and well-researched examination into the origin of United States drug laws. Dr. David Bearman shows how, through intertwining motives of discrimination and greed, often under the guise of morality, they have created a drug policy that is completely dysfunctional. As he points out, our drug laws have been very effective in further marginalizing discriminated-against groups and a total failure in every other respect. From the Middle Ages through the present, the tactic of demonizing drugs and those accused of using them has been used against pagans, witches, Aztecs, Incas, Native Americans, Irish, Germans, Blacks, Chinese, Sikhs, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Catholics, Jews and Italians, among others. Using an historical perspective, Dr. Bearman shows how that there has never been a civilization in the history of mankind that has not been without some form of mind-altering and addictive substance. He also demonstrates that the very real medical properties of cannabis were recognizes thousands of years ago, along with the medicinal use of other banned substances including opium and coca as well as the now legal “drugs” alcohol and tobacco. The first volume covers the period between 2657 BC through 1969. The second volume brings the reader to the present-day and the growing recognition and importance of the medical use of currently banned substances. Dr. Bearman makes it clear why our current drug policies need a complete overhaul. Dr. Bearman’s reasonable suggestions about how to fix the U.S. drug policies, placed in this accurate historical perspective, are extraordinarily relevant.
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David Bearman received his M.D. from the University of Washington School of Medicine. He has served at all levels of government including the U.S. Public Health Service, Director of Health Services at San Diego State University, Health Officer and Director Sutter County Health Department and Medical Director/Director of Medical Services for the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority (now CenCal). Dr. Bearman has a long career in the field of drug abuse treatment and prevention. He was prominent in the community clinic movement, having started the third Free Clinic in the country in Seattle, then directing the Haight Ashbury Drug Treatment Program, and founded the Isla Vista Medical Clinic. He was Medical Director of Santa Barbara County Methadone Maintenance Clinic, Ventura County Opiate Detox Program, and Zona Seca, an outpatient drug treatment program. He is a leader in the field of cannabinoid medicine, a co-founder of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, on the board of Americans for Safe Access and the Advisory Board for Patients Out of Time. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog named him “Doctor of the Day.” He has taught courses on the physiology and history of substance use and abuse at UCSF, UCSB, and SDSU, been a consultant to Hoffman LaRoche, NIDA and the National PTA, made numerous professional presentations, consulted widely and has been an expert witness in over 400 civil, criminal, and family court cases. Currently he is Zona Seca's Medical Consultant and maintains a private practice.
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