An interesting, though somewhat disorganized, look into the world’s illegal drug culture. Dopeworld is the author’s personal experience with being a drug dealer in England. It is also a worldwide history of the gangs who profited by transporting and selling drugs for the last 50 years. Finally, the author interviews some of the world’s most famous heads of drug cartels.

I personally thought the author’s story was the best part of the book. Though some of the gangsters’ interviews were also interesting especially the comparison of the real Italian Mafia to the Godfather movies. The history section didn’t keep my interest. However, that might be because I lived through much of it. Younger readers may enjoy a brief look back at how the drug trade and then the war on drugs began.

The book’s long game is to make the case for legalizing drugs. From my own experience, here in California, legalization doesn’t really work the way you would expect. The illegal sellers can sell their marijuana at a much lower cost than the heavily taxed legal weed. Sure, if you are solidly middle class, you might buy legal. But the most frequent users just kept buying from their usual, illegal, seller. There have been several business articles written about the “surprising” lack of high profits from legalization. And not just in California.

If you are interested in the drug trade and/or the drug war, Dopeworld is very informative. The author’s black sense of humor suffuses this tale of one young man’s struggles with life as he laughingly labels himself “Narco Polo”. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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