Strange Trips in Saskatoon (McNally Robinson)

Please join me at McNally Robinson for the Saskatoon launch of my new book!

Thursday, July 11th at 7pm
Travel Alcove

3130-8th Street East. Saskatoon, SK. S7H 0W2.

Join Lucas Richert for the Saskatoon launch of Strange Trips_ Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs



Could the Supreme Court’s Forfeiture Ruling Help End the Drug Wars?

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Did the Supreme Court unanimously de-escalate the drug wars last month? The optimist in me says “yes,” and the historian in me agrees.

In Timbs v. Indiana, the Court ruled that the state could not seize and forfeit the plaintiff’s Land Rover as a result of his drug conviction. While this decision alone will not end “policing for profit,” it will subject state asset-forfeiture laws to unprecedented scrutiny. Michigan and South Carolina legislators immediately introduced bills to reform asset forfeiture, for example, and district attorneys in Alabama scrambled to show how their forfeitures are already transparent and constitutional.

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American Institute for the History of Pharmacy

Join the AIHP today!

The American Institute for the History of Pharmacy was established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1941. And the mission of the Institute is to ‘advance knowledge and understanding of the history of pharmacy and medicines.’

You can visit the AIHP website here:

In January, I took on the role of Historical Director of AIHP. Along with Dennis Birke (Executive Director), and with the support of the Board of Directors and the rest of the team here in Madison, we are planning a new phase for this venerable organization. We would like you to be a part of it!

We have all manner of memberships, including a student membership scheme. AIHP has published its flagship journal Pharmacy in History since 1959 and many other educational treasures can be found on the website. AIHP also offers awards and grants for emerging and established scholars alike.

Between now and February 28, 2 new members of the organization will be awarded a free copy of my forthcoming book #StrangeTrips. 


Radical Temperance: Conference General Report

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Dr. Annemarie McAllister, Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Central Lancashire, and Pam Lock, a doctoral candidate and the GW4 Developing People Officer at the University of Bristol. They organized a conference on alcohol called Radical Temperance: Social Change and Drink, from Teetotalism to Dry January, held at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England, from June 28-29, 2018. This is their general report, with more posts to come over the next few weeks. Enjoy!

The signing of the teetotal pledge on 1 September 1832 in Preston by a group of seven men, including the social reformer Joseph Livesey, was a pivotal moment in the history of the temperance movement in Britain. Preston was thus an obvious home for the first-ever conference to bring together historians, social scientists, and third sector groups concerned about support for alcohol-free lifestyles…

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Gender and Critical Drug Studies: The Gendered Origins of Privatized Prison Drug Treatment

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Dr. Jill McCorkel, associate professor of sociology ad criminology at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. In it, she explores the origins of how drug treatment and rehabilitation programs entered private prisons for women. Her full article appears in a special co-produced edition of SHAD and CDP, Special Issue: Gender and Critical Drug Studies. Enjoy!

Screenshot 2018-09-18 at 8.31.51 AM Dr. Jill McCorkel

I was recently in a taxi on my way to a speaking engagement in Dublin, Ireland. When the driver asked me what I’d be discussing, I told him I research prison privatization. “Ahh, yes,” he said, “the corporations run the American prisons and that’s why you have such a problem over there. They want everyone in prison. More prisoners, more profit!”

Although legal scholars would likely challenge his claim on the grounds that comparatively few prisoners in the U.S. are held in private prisons, his comments are not entirely off…

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Hidden Figures of Drug History: Joan Ganz Cooney

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in our new Hidden Figures of Drug History series, with more to come in the future. Next week Points will feature more exciting news about drug and alcohol history in the media, as well as a great recap of LSD use in New York City in the 1960s. Enjoy this post and come back next week for more!

Image result for marihuana a signal of misunderstandingThere are few subjects I like writing about more than the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse’s 1972 report, “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.” Also known as the Shafer Commission, the group’s report enlivened my book Grass Roots, and I’ve continued to mine it for material on how we can understand the Trump administration’s response to the opioid overdose epidemic today.

But there’s something of particular interest for those who want to understand the role gender has long played in American…

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From Calcutta in 1890 to Canada Today: Exercises in Cannabis Legalization

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Peter Hynd, a PhD candidate in history at McGill University in Quebec, based on the paper he presented at the Cannabis: Global Histories conference held at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, on April 19-20, 2018. In it, he explores how Calcutta legalized the sale of cannabis in the 19th century, and shows how the Indian government sought to implement legalization in the most effective (and profitable) way. Enjoy!

Imagine strolling up to a licensed cannabis shop and purchasing a few grams of the finest Government stamped and sealed ganja, no questions asked.

In your mind, where are you? Denver, Colorado in 2015? Montreal, Quebec, later this year?

How about Calcutta in 1890?

Although probably not the time or place you associate with government licensed cannabis shops, during the second half of the nineteenth century the colonial government of Bengal (modern day Bangladesh and…

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