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October 2004
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Under the influence

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Dan Forbes — one of the very best investigative journalists to take on the drug war — sent me an invitation to a book event. Not just any book event — this could be the most unusual and entertaining book event I’ve ever encountered. And yes, it’s been made clear that all my readers are invited to the party.

So, you’re invited to an East Village book bash — no stuffy readings, buy the damn book and read it yourself once you repossess your faculties — to celebrate publication of Disinformation’s latest well-schooled rant: Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs.

وووووو That’s you and whatever emoluments you have at hand, Thursday, October 21, 9pm to 4am at swank-deluxe Uncle Ming’s, in the heart of it all at 225 Avenue B (that’s at 13th St. for you schmoes). Yeah, it’s free. The drinks ain’t, but they’re cheap.

وووووو Forget the modest number of immodest go-go dancers, the syncopation from renowned Slipper Room vinyl spinner, DJ Ness, the no-doubt dissolute air rubbing shoulders (let’s say) with strangers similarly possessed of a certain moral casualness. Come, rather, seeking proof of the cruelties, absurdities, malfeasance & propaganda promulgated by your government to prop up an ever shakier War on Some Drugs.

Yep. I sure wish I was in New York this week.

وووووو DisInfo and editor Preston Peet have corralled the top writers on drugs (verily) for a volume chockablock with the sort of truth-to-power rarely found between soft covers:

وووووو Libertarian big-foot Jacob Sullum, of the usually eponymous Reason magazine and author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Putnam); New York Press columnist, author and irasciblist Paul Krassner; Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books); bona fide contemporary shaman, Rick Doblin, who’s actually buffaloed the feds into approving his investigations of post-trauma, therapeutic Ecstasy; and ex-Village Voice columnist, Cynthia Cotts.

وووووو Not to mention Ethan Nadelmann, avatar of the Drug Policy Alliance and many state drug-reform ballot initiatives; China Syndrome screenwriter, Mike Gray, whose seminal drug policy books include Drug Crazy (Random House); Lonny Shavelson, author of Hooked: Five Addicts Challenge our Misguided Drug Rehab System (The New Press); rock star and ex-High Timeser Steven Wishnia, author of Cannabis Companion (Running Press); our beloved editor, High Timeser Preston Peet, who also edits DrugWar.com; and Daniel Forbes, a feckless freelancer who engendered four congressional hearings and testified at two after revealing that the Clinton White House steered $22 million to the TV networks for government-approved anti-drug TV scripts and has perpetrated numerous stone-down-a-well scoops ever since. And many others too worthy to begin to try to encapsulate in an e-mail.

If you can go to the party, drop me a line afterward. I’d love to hear about it. I’ll talk about the book more some time in the future.

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