Chasing The Scream Book Summary, by Johann Hari

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1-Page Summary of Chasing The Scream


The New Jim Crow (2010) reveals the injustice of mass incarceration in the United States. The War on Drugs has been implemented under a supposedly colorblind justice system, but it has led to racial discrimination and bias against African-Americans.

The war against drugs was like the other wars by having a clear enemy. However, it turned out that the wrong enemy was targeted.

Drugs have always been a controversial topic. However, as more and more countries are legalizing or decriminalizing them, this issue is becoming even more controversial.

This passage discusses the War on Drugs and how it started. It also explains recent developments in this area, such as the legalization of marijuana in some states. The author suggests that we should accept drugs as part of life instead of fighting against them because fighting isn’t very effective.

In this article, you will learn why Billie Holiday and Judy Garland were treated differently when it came to heroin addiction. You’ll also find out how cracking down on dealers can lead to more gang power and why drug addiction isn’t all about drugs.

Big Idea #1: The War on Drugs was started in the United States and pushed onto other countries.

The effort to combat illegal drug use and crack down on dealers is so common that we don’t even think twice when we hear about major busts in the news. We’re used to seeing stacks of confiscated money, drugs, and weapons from those efforts.

The beginning of the war was different from how it is fought today.

In the early twentieth century, drugs that are now illegal were easily available. For example, a person could go to the pharmacy and get a bag of medicine containing heroin or cocaine. A refreshing sip of Coca-Cola contained ingredients extracted from coca leaves, which are used to make cocaine. In addition, high society women in Britain even bought tins of heroin in department stores.

But then, in 1914, the United States began prohibiting drugs. This was because of World War I and industrialization. People were anxious and needed an outlet for their aggression. They found it in drugs, which they blamed for their problems instead of seeing them as a symptom of a larger issue like changing customs or class tension. However, this attitude towards drugs changed due to one man: Harry Anslinger who was the first chief of the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962 and is credited with starting America’s war on drugs.

Anslinger worked as the Bureau chief, and during his tenure he noticed that drugs kept flowing into the US. He suspected that communists were smuggling in drugs to undermine America’s military and economic strength.

So, in the 1950’s, he took his case to the United Nations and convinced them to adopt prohibition policies.

Big Idea #2: The War on Drugs was originally started to prevent drug use, but that wasn’t the case. It was actually meant to suppress minorities.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the War on Drugs. They started when it began.

The war on drugs was supposed to protect addicts from doing more harm to themselves and prevent others from becoming addicted. This is reinforced by campaigns such as “Just Say No,” which were prevalent during the 1980s and 1990s.

The War on Drugs was launched in 1914, but its champions didn’t use addiction and social harm as their justification. Instead, they used racial minorities to justify the war. Harry Anslinger blamed the increase of drug use entirely on black people and argued that “the increase is practically 100 percent among Negro people.”

The US government believed that drugs were causing African Americans to be violent and aggressive. They used this belief as an excuse to crack down on drug use, even though the majority of users were white people. The government ignored the fact that many famous black singers also used drugs, like Billie Holiday and Judy Garland. However, they didn’t treat them in a similar manner because those two women were white. Because it was easier for whites to believe that blacks are naturally more violent than whites, the government kept law enforcement out of some cases involving black women who had been using drugs.

Chasing The Scream Book Summary, by Johann Hari