For Bookforum, I reviewed David Nutt’s Drugs Without the Hot Air, a stellar primer on drugs policy and pharmacology. Nutt is a British scientist and former drugs policy advisor who was sacked for publishing an article claiming that ecstasy was safer than horseback riding, as well as for advocating for a more empirically minded drugs policy. (For example, he thought that cannabis should classified as Class C, the least restrictive category for illegal drugs, but his recommendations were disregarded.) His book can be a touch dry, but it’s rigorously empirical and without the usual hysteria or emotionalism that accompanies writing about drugs. Very much recommended.