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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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The Most American Drug

The Most American Drug

(p.381) 26 The Most American Drug
Drugs and Thugs

Russell Crandall

Yale University Press

This chapter begins with scenes from Matthew Heineman's Oscar-nominated documentary Cartel Land, which shows a crew of Mexican methamphetamine cooks standing around a few steaming plastics barrels. It investigates how methamphetamine was the scourge drug of twenty-first century middle America until opioid addiction grew into a full-fledged crisis. It also recounts how methamphetamine was widely prescribed and misused across America under brand names like Methedrine and Norodin well into the 1980s. The chapter discusses how illicit meth had remained popular with underground lab cooks and users since the days when it flowed through the counterculture of postwar New York and San Francisco.

Keywords:   Matthew Heineman, methamphetamine, scourge drug, illicit meth, Big Pharma, Methedrine, Norodin

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