Since the 1970s, the "War on Drugs" has absorbed billions of dollars, fueled armed interventions overseas, imprisoned millions of individuals, and stigmatized inner city communities--all without appearing to have produced a measurable impact on actual drug use. In this episode of History Talk, hosts Patrick Potyondy and Mark Sokolsky interview three experts on the history of drug and alcohol regulation in America: Scott Martin on 19th century temperance and alcohol prohibition, Steven Siff on the illegalization and legalization of marijuana, and Clay Howard on the “urban crisis” of the 1980s and drugs, race, and disparities in enforcement. In each segment, they consider why drugs were made illegal in the first place, whether the fight is worth the cost, and what insights history may have for addressing drug use in America today.
History Talk podcasts are a production of Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective at the Goldberg Center in the Department of History at The Ohio State University and the Department of History at Miami University. For more information about Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, please visit origins.osu.edu.