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The Champion

April 2017 , Page 62 

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Book Review: Hard Bargains - The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court

By David Patton

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Hard Bargains - The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court 

By Mona Lynch
Russell Sage Foundation (2016)


Most readers of The Champion do not need a book about the federal war on drugs to learn of its horrors. The daily practice of criminal defense provides enough education. And yet Mona Lynch, a criminology professor at the University of California Irvine, provides fresh insights in her terrific new book, Hard Bargains: The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court, in which she analyzes the history and current practice of federal drug prosecutions.

Lynch’s discussion includes the early days of drug prohibition with its racist and anti-immigrant roots (prohibition was purportedly necessary to keep white women and children safe from African American cocaine “fiends,” Asian opium dens, and violent Mexicans high on marijuana); the beginnings of organized federal enforcement in 1930 by the first head of the Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Ans

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