Interviews

List of Interviewees

This is a list of people I interviewed for the book, and a short description of who they are. Where the interviews are marked with an asterisk, that’s to show that I interviewed them via Skype or phone; all the rest were conducted face-to-face. For the recorded calls, the name of the location describes where the interviewee was, not where I was.

They are listed alphabetically by surname.

  • Dr Eliot Albert in London – head of International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD)
  • Sunil Aggarwal* in New York City – expert on drug effects
  • Betty Aldworth* in Colorado – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • Professor Bruce Alexander in Vancouver, Canada – expert on addiction
  • Veronica Alonzo in Montevideo, Uruguay – Senator, opponent of legalization
  • Geraldo Amarilla in Montevideo, Uruguay – senator, opponent of legalization
  • Donny Andrews in Baltimore – a former stick-up man, the inspiration for Omar in ‘The Wire’
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona – a leading prohibitionist sheriff
  • Julio Bango in Montevideo, Uruguay – politician, advocate of ending drug war
  • Brandy Baron in Arizona – a supporter of Joe Arpaio and prohibition
  • Hannah Elizabeth Barr* – expert on drug policy in Afghanistan
  • Damon Barrett in London – expert on harm reduction
  • Yolande Bavan* in New York City – friend of Billie Holiday
  • Thilo Beck* in Zurich, Switzerland – drug policy expert
  • Howard Becker* – expert on drug effects
  • Fabrizio Benedetti* – expert on drug effects
  • Andrew Bennett in Liverpool, England – worked on heroin prescription program
  • Julia Blackburn* in London – biographer of Billie Holiday
  • Dr Barbara Broers* in Zurich, Switzerland – doctor
  • Barbra Brohl in Montevideo, Uruguay – regulator of marijuana trade in Colorado
  • Larry Bryant in Washington DC – HIV rights advocate at Housing Works
  • Susie Byrd in El Paso, Texas – politician, advocate of legalization
  • Reverend Eugene Callendar* in New York City – friend of Billie Holiday
  • Christine Campbell in Washington DC – activist at Housing Works
  • Isaac Campos* – historian of drug effects
  • Nuno Capaz in Lisbon, Portugal – social worker, works in Dissuasion Commission
  • Julian Cardona in Juarez, Mexico – drug war expert, journalist in Juarez
  • Laura Carlsen* in Mexico director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy
  • Julio Calzada in Montevideo, Uruguay – Uruguay’s ‘drugs tsar’
  • Miguel Angel Campodonico in Montevideo, Uruguay – President Mujica’s biographer
  • Diego Carnepa in Montevideo, Uruguay – Chief of Staff to the President
  • Tamara Chkheidze in Geneva, Switzerland – works in K-9, drug treatment center
  • Donald Clarke* – Billie Holiday’s biographer
  • Allan Clear in Liverpool, England – worked on heroin prescription program
  • Jonathan Cohen in New York City – expert at the Open Society Foundation
  • Hayley Coles in Arizona – works on harm reduction in Arizona
  • Martin Collanzos in Montevideo, Uruguay – legalization campaigner
  • Coco Cutherbertson in Vancouver, Canada – works with addicts at the Portland Hotel Society
  • Bob DaSena in New York City – expert on gangs, former gang member
  • Richard DeGrandpre in New Zealand – expert on drug effects
  • Brisa Delgado in Juarez, Mexico– teenager, shot in drug war violence
  • Dr Lance Dodes* – expert on addiction
  • Stephen Dowling in New York City – former cop in charge of the LAPD drug squad
  • Ruth Dreifuss in Geneva, Switzerland – former President of Switzerland, champion of ending the drug war
  • Bevan Dufty* in San Francisco – Billie Holiday’s godson
  • Robert DuPont in Stockholm, Sweden – set up the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Richard Nixon
  • Paul Enck* – expert on drug effects
  • Juan Fraire Escobedo (he asked me not to name the city he is in for safety reasons) – son of Marisella Escobedo, murdered for seeking justice
  • Paul Fraire Escobedo – as above
  • Dylan Evans* – expert on drug effects
  • Liz Evans in Vancouver, Canada – leading activist for harm reduction
  • Cindy Fazey in Liverpool, England – worked on heroin prescription program and at the United Nations Office on Drug Control
  • Lorraine Feather* – Billie Holiday’s god-daughter
  • Peter Ferentzy* in Toronto, Canada – drug user, activist
  • Amanda Fielding – an expert on hallucinogens in London, head of the Beckley Foundation
  • Joao Figueira in Lisbon, Portugal – head of the drugs police in Portugal
  • Steve Fox* in Colorado – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • Lazaro Franco in Juarez, Mexico – gang member
  • Neill Franklin in Maryland – former cop, now head of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  • Antonio Gago in Lisbon, Portugal – former addict
  • Eduardo Galeano in Montevideo, Uruguay – writer, friend of Jose Mujica
  • Janice Gallagher in New York City – activist with Mexican Peace Caravan
  • Guillermo Garat in Montevideo, Uruguay – legalization activist
  • Edwin Garay in Juarez, Mexico – teenager, shot in drug war violence
  • Alicia Garcia in Montevideo, Uruguay – last person to be arrested for marijuana
  • Bertha Alicia Garcia in Juarez, Mexico – activist against drug war violence
  • Marisol Valles Garcia (I have been asked not to name where I met her for her safety) – former Mexican sheriff driven out by drug gangs
  • Karen Garrison in Washington DC – founder of the Sentencing Project
  • Terrence Garrison in Washington DC – works with the Sentencing Project
  • Molly Gill* – expert on Mexican drug violence
  • Misha Glenny* in New York City – organized crime expert, author of ‘McMafia’
  • The Gomez family in El Paso, Texas – victims of drug war violence
  • Joao Goulao in Lisbon, Portugal – doctor, led the decriminalization in Portugal
  • Federico Grana in Montevideo, Uruguay – human rights activist
  • Mike Gray* in Los Angeles – writer, advocate of legalization
  • Olivier Gueniat in Neuchatel, Switzerland – police officer, expert on drug policy
  • Clare Hacksell in Vancouver, Canada – works with addicts at the Portland Hotel Society
  • Eric Hager* – lawyer working on US companies who exposed Ecuadorians to chemicals in effort to ‘eradicate’ drugs
  • Chino Hardin in New York City – former drug dealer
  • Carl Hart in New York City – Professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University
  • Jazz Hayden in Harlem – former drug dealer, activist against drug war
  • Barb Heller in Arizona – a supporter of Joe Arpaio and of prohibition
  • Shawn Heller* – expert on US prisons at the Florida Justice Institute
  • Ana Paula Hernandez in Juarez, Mexico – human rights activist
  • Hannah Hetzer in Montevideo, Uruguay – works for the Drug Policy Alliance
  • Juan Carlos Hidalgo in Washington DC – Cato Institute expert
  • Alison Holcombe* in Washington State – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • Alfredo Holguin in Juarez, Mexico – victim of drug war violence
  • Pete Holmes* in Washington – Seattle City Attorney, key figure in legalization campaign
  • Eleutorio Huidobro in Montevideo, Uruguay – defense secretary for Uruguay
  • Richard Husman in Missouri – former partner of Marcia Powell, who was killed in Arizona prison
  • Mike Jay in London – drug policy and history expert
  • Karyn Kaplan in New York City – activist for human rights of drug users, especially in Asia
  • Christer Karlsson in Stockholm, Sweden – former addict
  • Scott Kellogg in New York City – addiction expert
  • Danny Kushlick in London – expert on drug legalization, co-director of the Transform Drugs Policy Institute
  • Steve Lemons in Arizona – an excellent journalist in Arizona who monitors
  • Donna Leone Hamm in Arizona* – head of the Middle Ground Prison Reform group
  • Michael Levine in upstate New York – former drugs cop
  • Marc Levy in Boston – Vietnam veteran, discussing drug use there
  • Markus Leweke* – expert on drug effects
  • Ann Livingstone in Vancouver, Canada – activist, co-founder of Vandu
  • Margaret Love* – lawyer, worked on the notorious case of Clarence Aaron
  • Sophie Macken in London – member of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs
  • Donald MacPherson in Vancouver, Canada – leading activist against drug war
  • Leigh Maddox in New York City and in Maryland – former cop, now advocate of legalization with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  • Charlie Mandingo* in Washington State – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • Dr Rita Manghi in Geneva, Switzerland – psychiatrist in heroin prescription clinic
  • Mike Manning in Arizona – a lawyer who has led successful cases against Joe Arpaio for abuses in his prisons
  • Dr John Marks* in New Zealand and later Vienna, Austriaworked on heroin prescription program in Liverpool, England
  • Martin Marquez in Montevideo, Uruguay – supporter of Mujica
  • Fred Martens in Camden, New Jersey – former undercover drug cop
  • Dr Daniel Martins in Geneva, Switzerland – doctor in heroin prescription clinic
  • Oscar Martinez in El Paso, Texas – historian of El Paso and Juarez
  • Gabor Mate in Vancouver, Canada – psychiatrist, expert on addiction
  • Marc Mauer* – lawyer, has worked on drug cases
  • Joe Megysey* in Colorado – key figure in legalization campaign
  • Guadalupe Melendez in Juarez, Mexico – mother of man accused of a massacre
  • Evelyn Milan in New York City – activist with VOCAL-NY
  • Roosevelt K. Miles in Fort Worth, Texas – former addict
  • Daniel Moerman* – expert on drug effects and placebo
  • Elle Morrison* – expert on how drug addicts are treated in Asia, witnessed the treatment ‘camps’ there first-hand
  • Peter Moskos in New York City – cop, now advocate of legalization
  • Jose Mujica* in Montevideo, Uruguay – President of Uruguay
  • Ethan Nadelmann in New York City – head of the Drug Policy Alliance
  • Terry Nelson in Fort Worth, Texas – former police officer
  • Russell Newcombe in Liverpool, England – worked on heroin prescription program
  • Tony Newman in New York City – press officer at the Drug Policy Alliance
  • Richard Newton in El Paso, Texas – former border agent, now member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  • Geord Norberg in Arizona – his son Scott died in one of Arpaio’s jails
  • Professor David Nutt in London – former chief scientific advisor on drugs in the UK
  • Pat O’Hare in Liverpool, England – worked on heroin prescription program
  • Juan Manuel Olguin in Juarez, Mexico – teenager who dresses as an angel to protest drug war violence
  • Elizabeth Owens in New York City – activist with VOCAL-NY
  • Dinah Ortiz in New York City – former drug mule
  • Bud Osborn in Vancouver, Canada – leading activist against the drug war
  • Philip Owen in Vancouver, Canada – former mayor of Vancouver
  • Lynn Paltrow* in New York City – activist, works on the rights of addicted mothers
  • Tony Papa in New York City – works for the Drug Policy Alliance, former drug prisoner
  • Allan Parry in Liverpool, England – worked on heroin prescription program
  • Dr Raquel Peyraube in Montevideo, Uruguay – psychiatrist, treats addicts
  • Daniel Piomelli* – expert on drug effects
  • Peggy Plews in Phoenix, Arizona – activist against abuse of prisoners
  • The Porres family – I have been asked not to name where I met them for their safety victims of Mexican drug war violence
  • Dr Divine Pryor in New York City – activist
  • Jose Queiroz* – expert on Portuguese drug policy
  • Meghan Ralston – expert on drug policy with the Drug Policy Alliance
  • Geoffrey Ramsay in Montevideo, Uruguay – drug policy expert
  • Helen Redmond* in New York City – journalist who writes about drug policy
  • Stuart Reges* – professor, former drug user
  • Rosalio Reta in Tyler County, Texas – former hitman for the Zetas
  • Saul and Sandra Reyes – I have been asked not to name where I met them for their safety – victims of Mexican drug war violence
  • Khyung Ji Rhee in New York City – works with Chino Hardin
  • Joyce Rivera in the Bronx – founder and executive director of St Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction
  • Representative Mary Helen Roberts* in Washington State – key figure in legalization campaign
  • Sandra Rodrigues in Juarez, Mexico – crime correspondent for El Diario
  • Sergio Rodrigues in Porto, Portugual – drug users, activist
  • Roger Roffman* in Washington State – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • DD Rogers in Washington DC – former drug user
  • Gustavo De La Rosa in Juarez, Mexico – human rights activist
  • Steve Rolles in London – legalization expert, co-founder of Transform Drugs Policy Institute
  • Maurico Rosencoff in Montevideo, Uruguay – dissident, friend of President Mujica
  • Annie Ross* in New York City – friend of Billie Holiday, jazz singer
  • Kate Rubin* in New York City – works with the Bronx Defenders
  • Rui Ruis in Lisbon, Portugal – former addict
  • Sebastian Sabini in Montevideo, Uruguay – legislator, champion of legalization
  • Jason Santiago in New York City – friend of Chino Hardin
  • Jean-Felix Savary in Geneva, Switzerland – social worker, works with addicts
  • Carlos Saveedra in New York City – doctor, treats addicts
  • Jeremy Saunders in New York City – activist with VOCAL-NY
  • Kurt Schmoke in Washington DC – former mayor of Baltimore, advocate of ending the drug war
  • Christian Sederberg in Montevideo, Uruguay – lawyer, campaigner to end the drug war
  • Ronald K. Seigel* in Los Angeles – expert on drug use among animals
  • Laura Shaver in Vancouver, Canada – activist against drug war
  • Elaine Showalter* – expert on history of hysterical epidemics
  • Javier Sicilia in New York City – advocate of ending the Mexican drug war
  • Rachel Siefert in Juarez, Mexico – British documentary maker, expert on drug war
  • Alejandra Spektor in El Paso, Texas – founder of Mexicanos en Exilo
  • Carlos Spektor in El Paso, Texas – founder of Mexicanos en Exilo
  • Sandra Spektor in El Paso, Texas – founder of Mexicanos en Exilo
  • Nik Steinberg – Human Rights Watch expert on Mexico drug violence
  • Richard Stratton in Washington DC – former drug dealer
  • Eric Sterling in Washington DC – the lawyer who wrote the US drug laws in the 1980s
  • Joy Strickland in Dallas, Texas – became an advocate for legalization after the killing of her son
  • Paisan Suwannawong in New York City – Thai activist against drug war there
  • Tom Tancredo* in Colorado – politician, key figure in legalization campaign
  • Kima Joy Taylor in Baltimore – director of National Drug Treatment Program at Open Society Foundation
  • Gabriel Thorens in Geneva, Switzerland – works in heroin prescription clinic
  • Jorge Hernandez Tinajero* in Mexico – legalization activist
  • Joe Toft in Reno, Nevada – former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Colombia
  • Bobby Tolbert in New York City – former addict
  • Luica Topolansky in Montevideo, Uruguay – Senator, First Lady, wife of Mujica
  • Jorge De La Torre in Phoenix, Arizona – doctor at the “Tent City” prison
  • Sanho Tree* in Washington DC – expert on drugvwar
  • Billie Tyler in Washington DC – a street nurse who works with addicts
  • Jasmine Tyler in Washington DC – a pro-legalization activist
  • Mason Tvert* in Colorado – key figure in legalization campaign
  • Juan Tubino in Montevideo, Uruguay – runs a ‘head shop’
  • Ambrose Uchtenhagen* in Switzerland – doctor, expert on prescribing heroin
  • Douglas Valentine* – expert on history of Federal Bureau of Narcotics
  • Emma Valeta in Creel, Mexico – victim of drug war
  • Miguel Vasconcelos in Lisbon, Portugal – doctor at the Taipas Treatment Center
  • Juan Vaz in Montevideo, Uruguay – former drug dealer
  • Yamamndu Vitabar in Montevideo, Uruguay – supporter of Mujica
  • Dr Hal Vorse* in Oklahoma City – doctor, treats prescription drug addicts
  • Art Way* in Colorado – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • Suzanne Wills in Dallas, Texas – accountant, campaigner against the drug war
  • Dean Wilson in Vancouver, Canada – leading activist against drug war
  • Tonia Winchester* in Washington State – key figure in the legalization campaign
  • Howard Wooldridge in Washington DC – former cop, advocate of legalization
  • Toni Young in Washington DC – head of the DC Community Education Group

I have not included on this list anyone who falls into any of these categories:

  • people who asked not to be named, because they were admitting to criminal activities
  • anybody I felt might be endangered by me revealing they had spoken to a journalist (this is especially true of people in Northern Mexico and Vietnam)
  • anybody I felt might be harmed by being publicly identified as a drug user or addict
  • the inmates I interviewed in the prison in Tent City in Arizona, because I don’t want the first thing that comes up when they are googled to be the fact they have been in prison

 

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