Philip Seymour Hoffman Could Be Alive Today If The Drug War Was Over

January 30, 2015 2:51 PM

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This weekend, it is a year since Philip Seymour Hoffman died, with a needle in his arm, in his apartment in New York City -- and this year, it is a century since drugs were first criminalized. These two events are connected. If the war on drugs had never happened, there is a significant chance that his death would not have happened -- and I believe, after researching this subject for over three years for my book Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, that I can prove it.

I am conscious it will seem distasteful to lots of people talk about a celebrity's death -- a really horrible, distressing loss of a genuinely great actor -- as a way of talking about wider drug policy. I agree. It is. I would rather not do it. But there is one thing that would be even more distaste...

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