Since the first man (or woman) discovered the first fermented grape (or Fly Argaric mushroom, or coca leaf, or….) psychoactive substances have been an integral part of the human experience, offering us everything from an elixir against the pain and monotony of hard labor to a gateway to the Godhead. Civilization as we know it would not exist without them; yet in just a brief amount of time the War on Drugs has turned our centuries-long symbiotic and respectful connection with drugs into a dysfunctional relationship, informed by racism, fear and puritan morality.
Narcotica will bring you the unfiltered story of drugs—the good, the bad and the ugly. From the shooting galleries and crack dens of the inner city to pristine university laboratories, we’ll ask the questions most journalists are afraid to ask (if they know to ask them at all). In the process, if we’re lucky, we will help shift the dialogue on substance use into one based more on fact than fiction.
Christopher Moraff writes on the intersection of policing, criminal justice, drug policy and civil liberties. He is a contributing writer at The Daily Beast and was previously a columnist for Al Jazeera America. His byline has appeared in numerous publications. Moraff has written extensively on U.S. drug policy; and his immersion reporting from Philadelphia’s open air drug markets has earned him a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable journalistic sources on IV drug culture and the overdose crisis.
Zachary Siegel is a writer and journalist covering the intersection of public health and criminal justice. His work focuses on drugs, science, and policy. He has appeared in various outlets and magazines, like Wired, Slate, Vice, New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Salon, and the Fair Punishment Project. He’s currently a Guggenheim Justice Fellow at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Troy Farah is an independent journalist from Southern California with a focus on science, drug policy, harm reduction and health. His reporting and criticism have appeared in Smithsonian, Discover, Undark, VICE (Motherboard, Tonic), The Outline and others. His website is troyfarah.com
Jon Ehrens has worked in public radio for 15 years. He currently producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY in Philadelphia. Previously he was engineer and producer for Midday with Dan Rodricks for WYPR in Baltimore. He is head writer, producer, editor, and voice actor for the podcast Eavesdropping on America. He is also a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer for several musical projects including Dungeonesse, which was named among the top 20 Best Pop Albums of 2013 in SPIN.