Book Forum

Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use

(Tarcher/​Putnam, 2003)

May 29, 2003 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring the author, Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor, Reason; with comments by Sally Satel, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.

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Saying Yes argues that the all‐​or‐​nothing thinking that has long dominated discussions of illegal drug use should give way to a wiser, subtler approach. Exemplified by the tradition of moderate drinking, such an approach rejects the idea that there is something inherently wrong with using chemicals to alter one’s mood or mind. Saying Yes further contends that the conventional understanding of addiction as a kind of chemical slavery in which the user’s values and wishes do not matter is fundamentally misleading. Jacob Sullum contrasts drug use as it is described by politicians and propagandists with drug use as it is experienced by the silent majority of users. Sally Satel, recently seen on John Stossel’s ABC News special “Is Addiction a Choice?” will comment.