The Needle and the Damage Done

As an ex-cop, an ex-cokehead, and an ex-con—and as a mother trying to build a safe future for my two young sons—I’ve seen the drug war from every conceivable side. And I know why we aren’t winning.

I HELD A CRACK BABY ONCE, but not while I was an undercover narcotics agent in East Texas in the seventies. It was in 1983, after I had gotten out of prison and fled to New York City, while I was maintaining asylum in the ivory towers of graduate school. My fourth-floor walk-up was in a mostly Dominican neighborhood near Columbia University, where there was enough crack to go

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