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Dealer's choice: A drug history of the American empire.


When you say 'cocaine' and automatically the public's attention is focused on the idea of an illicit market, it's not even half the story. All of these products are being produced and it's not whether or not they're illegal, but who is able to be involved in their production, distribution and consumption. And every drug that's out there - there is a legal market for it.

Historian Suzanna Reiss explains how America's century-long drug war is more about retaining control of drug supply than it is eradicating narcotics or protecting citizens, what the post-WW2 history of the coca leaf reveals about US empire's rise to international economic hegemony, and why Americans need re-evaluate health and legal policies on both sides of the legal/illegal drug spectrum.

Suzanna is author of We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire from University of California Press.

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Suzanna Reiss

Suzanna Reiss is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.


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