Review: Reefer Madness–Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

3 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Civil Society, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Economics

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

3.0 out of 5 stars Three Articles, Lightweight Sequel to Fast Food Nation,

July 6, 2003
Eric Schlosser
Although the author is gifted, this is a very light-weight sequel to Fast Foot Nation and the author's next book on prisons is therefore already suspect. This could have been a great book–indeed it could have been three great books–but in the rush to publish a second book in order to profit from the justifiable applause for his first one, the editor and publisher and author have all failed.There are three articles here: the first is about the inconsistencies of the drug versus the murder laws, the number of people in jail for marijuana, and the social implications of all this; the second is on the underground economy of illegal workers and profiteering abusive corporations (McDonald's is especially evil in this depiction); and the third is about pornography but with a twist, focusing on how hotels and other major corporations are profiting.

The books ends with a very short but thoughtful observation regarding the need to change the law and punishment so as to back away from life-ending punishments for individual behavior that is merely self-destructive or distastement, and focus the heaviest punishments on those who commit economic crimes against society and entire sub-sections of society.

In each of these three cases, there are other books that are better–Deep Cover by Michael Levine on the futility of drug enforcement and the corruption of Drug Enforcement Agency “suits”; Forbidden Knowledge by Roger Shattuck, on pornography among other things; and The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald, on the sweetheart triangle between national-level white collar corporate criminals, big law firms, and a compliant Department of Justice that lets the richest bad guys off easy.

I would caution the author to not do this again–the next book had better be as good as Fast Food Nation, or he will fall into the second rank of serial writers rather than culture-changing authors, where he deserves to stay.

I would also encourage anyone considering buying this book to do so–it does have useful information–but more importantly, if you have not read Fast Food Nation, go to that page and think seriously about buying and reading it now–as McDonald's gets blamed overseas for being the epidemy of all that is hateful to Islamics, as Kraft Food pays lip service to healthy food in its realization that Oreo cookies are killing kids, what Eric Schlosser did in Fast Food Nation is being appreciated more and more each day–with that book, he did indeed change national consciousness, an achievement that will stand in history as a turning point in creating a healthier America.

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