Each of these reflections should be between 1500-2000 words, not including any quoted material. The reflection must include at least 3 direct (cited) quotes from the assigned book, and they must be highlighted in bold. These should be “substantive” quotes that support points that you are making in your paper, not just random quotes from the book. While there is not a specific length requirement for the quotes, generally, one sentence is probably not going to be long enough to be substantive, and very long quotes will detract from your own writing in this relatively short paper. Three to five sentences is a good average. Corresponding citations must be used, including a bibliography at the end of the paper. If your quotes are not properly indicated and cited, including page or location numbers, they will not count. Note that these are critical reflections of these books, NOT book reviews.
Questions for Consideration – These are general questions for you to consider while reading these two books. You do not necessarily need to address them in your papers; they are more for helping you to focus your reading.
1. In what ways are the authors of these books asking society to respond differently to recreational drug use and drug abuse?
2. What evidence do the authors present for their reasoning for how we should respond to recreational drug use and drug abuse?
3. What arguments or evidence do they present that our current prohibition or “just say no” approach is not working? In what specific ways is it not working?
4. In what ways are these approaches different from or similar to drug education you have received in the past? Do these approaches resonate with you or not, and how?
Prompt Questions (Use at least 3 quotes from this book and address all of the following three topics.)
1. Many people in the U.S. are now waking up to the realities of the War on Drugs and its impacts. In response, many then ask, “How did we get here?” What are some points from Hari’s historical account that stood out to you? What do you think is most important for people to know about the history of the War on Drugs?
2. While many Americans are uncomfortable with putting people in prison for drugs or drug use, they see no other options. As the rhetoric goes, we have to keep ourselves (and especially young people) safe from drugs, and our communities safe from drug users, which we generally equate with punishment and imprisonment. Hari presents examples of other options from other countries, and signs of change in our own country. Which options did you find most surprising and/or compelling? Thinking about your peers and/or community, are they or would they be open to major changes such as those presented?
3. In what ways have the following played a role (or not) in our current attitudes about drugs and the War on Drugs: fear; shame; dishonesty; science; money; safety; compassion? (You do not need to address all of these; just the ones you feel are most relevant.) Are there other things that you feel have fueled our approach to drugs and drug use in this country? How have the approaches of other countries dealt with these?