Anthropologist and filmmaker David Feingold returns to Fresh Air to talk about the opium trade originating in the Shan States of Burma. He explains how government action both locally and taken by the United States have proven ineffective in curtailing drug traffic.
Journalist Elaine Shannon's new book, Desperados, looks at the international impact of the illegal drug trade. She says that major banks and state governments have been complicit in drug trafficking by accepting bribes and laundering money. The U.S. government has faced difficulty curtailing these crimes, in part because of its desire to maintain diplomatic relations with the countries involved.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan. When the Reagans entered the White House, Nancy was a relatively anonymous first lady, best known for her strident "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign. But toward the end of President Reagan's second term, it became more apparent that Nancy Reagan's role in running the government was much larger than imagined, and it turns out many of her and her husband's decisions were influenced by a California astrologer. Nancy Reagan has a new memoir, called "My Turn."
Director of Health Policy, Department of Public Health, Mathea Falco. She was an advisor to Clinton during the presidential campaign. She's written extensively about drugs, drug abuse, and drug policy. She has a new book, "The Making of a Drug-Free America: Programs that Work."
Marc Mauer is a co-author for a new study that says there has been a sharp increase over the past five years in the number of African-American males age 20-29 in jail, on probation or on parole. The study finds, on any given day, one in three black men in their 20s is under some form of court supervision. Five years ago, a similar study found that the percentage at one in four blacks. The study is titled Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System: Five Years Later. it's two authors are Marc Mauer and Tracy Huling.
Health care analyst and substance abuse expert Joseph Califano. He was LBJ's assistant for domestic affairs from 1959-65 and Secretary for Health, Education and Welfare under Jimmy Carter from 1977-79. Joseph Califano is also president of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, a research and experimental care facility at Columbia University. (Interview by Barbara Bogaev)
Senior Editor at National Review, Richard Brookhiser. Recently the conservative magazine has come out in favor of some kind of drug legalization. Brookhiser is also a columnist for The New York Observer. (Interview by Barbara Bogaev)
Ethan Nadelmann, Director of The Lindesmith Center, a research center devoted to broadening the debate on drug policy, and looking at strategies that have been overlooked or ignored. (The Lindesmith Center is located in New York City, 212-887-0695) (Interview by Barbara Bogaev)
Journalist Jennifer Gonnerman's new book is Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett. It's an account of Bartlett's struggle to get out and stay out of jail. Bartlett spent 16 years in prison for a single sale of cocaine. Gonnerman follows Bartlett as she is released from prison at 42.
Criminologist David M. Kennedy's strategy for reducing gang violence has dramatically reduced youth homicide rates nationwide. In his new memoir, Don't Shoot, Kennedy outlines his community meetings and interventions have worked to curb youth violence in more than 70 cities.