Strange Trips

Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs

Examining the boundaries between recreational and medicinal drugs in the eyes of the public and the law.

La description

This book examines the boundaries between recreational and medicinal drugs in the eyes of the public and law. Drugs take strange journeys from the black market to the doctor’s black bag. Changing marijuana laws in the US and Canada, the opioid crisis, and the rising costs of pharmaceuticals have sharpened the public’s awareness of drug regulation. Weaving together stories of consumer resistance and government control, Strange Trips offers timely recommendations for future drug regulation.


"[Strange Trips] is comprehensive, accessible, and expertly researched, as well as topical—especially in the era of cannabis legalization in Canada and some American states, and the opioid crisis in large parts of North America. " Osgoode Hall Law Journal

"Thoughtfully organized and carefully researched, Strange Trips uniquely weaves typically disparate subjects of study into a singular detailed historical account of control and resistance. " Neil Boyd, Simon Fraser University

"Richert chronicles the reemergence of LSD, how Canadian prescription drugs – long a low-cost alternative for Americans – were vilified as part of the American "War on Terror," and how the American obsession with dieting has allowed dangerous drugs to enter the marketplace. Strange Trips suggests that drug regulation is more about culture than about product safety. Recommended. All readers. " Choice

“By bringing together psychotropics and non-psychotropics as well as drugs that have both legal and illegal uses, Richert reveals some of the tensions in drug regulation in both the US and Canada. The book provides a thoughtful examination of the complexities of medications: who wants access to them and why, the oft-contested evidence of effectiveness and harm, and the ways that drugs can be demonized and valorized. ” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History

"Strange Trips is a rich assembly of seemingly disparate case studies, artfully woven together through a perceptive analysis of meaningful common tropes, as well as a broad and balanced array of scientific and journalistic publications, binational government publications, and well-chosen references to films and popular media. Richert's careful attention to nuances in the US and Canadian regulatory environments is a particular strength while his powerful and gracefully invoked cultural references provide firm temporal orientation throughout his meditative journey through the strange careers of these vexed and liminal drug. " Canadian Journal of History

“Lucas Richert’s account fills a gap in the history of drugs by offering a clearcut analysis of drugs as public problems in various Canadian and US American historical settings since the 1950s. By bringing these stories together and allowing his readers to identify common narratives about fear, danger, hope, and cure, Richert’s book will be of great value both for academic teaching and for interdisciplinary debates on drugs. His accessible writing style will hopefully contribute to helping policymakers, health professionals and other experts better understand certain narratives when they are looking to improve drug policies for the future.” Metascience