Harry G. Levine
Department of Sociology
Queens College, City University of New York
Flushing, New York 11367
718- 997-2800 / Email: Harry.Levine@QC.cuny.edu
Harry Levine received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. from Brandeis University.
Much of his research has focused on drugs, alcohol, and food in historical context. Below are links to full text versions of a number of book chapters, articles, and reports. His work has won six distinguished scholarship awards for research about the history of addiction, about alcohol prohibition and regulation, about international drug policy, and about crack cocaine and the war on drugs.
His current research examines the epidemic of marijuana possession arrests in New York City and throughout the U.S. — disproportionately of young blacks and Latinos who use marijuana at lower rates than young whites. In partnership with the NAACP, ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, and Latino civil rights groups, he has issued reports on the costs, damaging consequences, and racial disparities of lowest-level marijuana possession arrests. His work has shown that the large numbers of marijuana possession arrests are the direct result of the great many stops, frisks and searches conducted by the New York Police Department and other big city police departments. This work has been cited repeatedly in editorials and news stories in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, WNYC, Associated Press, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, and many other publications.
As a result of the extensive coverage of this issue, in June 2012 the governor of New York proposed legislation fully decriminalizing the possession of marijuana and persuaded NY City's mayor, police commissioner, all five district attorneys, the NYC Council, and the Speaker of the NY State Assembly to support the reform. That legislation was stopped by conservative members of the NY State Senate and will be reintroduced in 2013.
An on-line library of journalism and research on race and police policy, stop and frisks, arrest and ticket quotas, collateral consequences, marijuana possession arrests, and the NYPD . Photos, graphs, tables, testimony, reports and excerpts from many newspaper stories.
Selected Publications (most are a pdf which can take a moment to load)
Testimony to the New York State Senate Regarding Marijuana Arrests –
$75 Million A Year: The Cost of New York City's Marijuana Possession Arrests
Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in California, 2007-2009
The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City – Aug 09 / Alternet
Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial
Bias and Police Policy in New York City, 1997-2007
– May 2008
Regard Yourself As a Writer: Unconventional Advice For New Sociology Graduate Students (Still circulating, comments welcomed)
The Secret of World-Wide Drug Prohibition: The Uses and Varieties of Drug Prohibition The Independent Review, Fall 2002
Global Drug Prohibition: Its Uses and Crises (Revised version of the above with some new material for a European audience, The International Journal of Drug Policy, Spring 2003
Crack In The Rearview Mirror: Deconstructing Drug War Ideology Social Justice, 2004
Crack In America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice University of California Press, 1997
Global Drug Policy: A Retreat from War Contexts (new ASA magazine) Fall 2002
Blame Canada: The Specter of Marijuana Decriminalization in Canada Pacific News Service, July 2002
Drug Commissions, The Next Generation: To Boldly Go...... International Journal of Drug Policy (1994)
Temperance Cultures: Concern About Alcohol Problems in Nordic and English-Speaking Cultures The Nature of Alcohol and Drug-Related Problems, 1992
The Birth Of American Alcohol Control: Prohibition, the Power Elite, and the Problem of Lawlessness Contemporary Drug Problems, 1985
The Vocabulary of Drunkenness Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (all the words for drunkenness in English, 1981)
The Discovery of Addiction: Changing Conceptions of Habitual Drunkenness in America From: Journal of Studies on Alcohol (a golden oldie from 1978)
Also – Media Coverage of Pot Arrests in New York City in 2009-2011 – various stories –