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‘The Secret History of the War on Weed’ (review)

Written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn
Art by Scott Koblish
Published by Image Comics


80s kids know that the war on drugs had its origins during the halcyon days of the Reagan administration. The Reagans made it their mission to end drug abuse in America once and for all.

So important was this mission that on September 14, 1986, the President and First Lady made a rare joint appearance on national television to address the nation.

Have you ever seen the President and First Lady address the country in prime time in your lifetime?

That is how passionate Nancy Reagan felt about drug abuse in America, a strategy she began promoting four years earlier in 1982.

I was all on board with Reagan’s war on drugs as a kid.

Back in those days, I would have been a poster child for D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). However, we now understand that the war on drugs was only another excuse to marginalize and penalize specific communities three decades later. Instead of helping the victims of illegal drugs, it ostracized and sentenced these people disproportionately compared to white, affluent Americans.

Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, the team responsible for Deadpool’s critically acclaimed 2013 run, reunite to bring readers a satirical look at America’s war on drugs.

Set in an alternate version of 1985 where Nancy Reagan is the President, and Ron is the First Gentleman (some historians already believe that to be the case!) The Secret History of the War on Weed is an over-the-top adrenaline-packed romp that is much an ode to the bloody action films of the era as it is a commentary on the ill-advised policies of the administration.

I read this one grinning from ear to ear, and you readers will also! My only complaint is that the book ends abruptly and only has a few panels dedicated to the severe nature of the topic. The five to six brief panels dedicated to those victimized by the war on drugs are too little and too late. I would have liked the book to have made its serious undertones a little clearer at the beginning of the book.

Either way, I am gleefully looking forward to the book’s protagonist Scotch McTiernan’s next adventure!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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