Ten Valuable Vintage Drug Paperbacks

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Valuable vintage drug paperbacks include Dope Inc., Junkie, Marihuana, The Golden Spike, Reefer Club, The Man with the Golden Arm, H Is for Heroin and Marijuana Girl. Some drug-related paperbacks can top the $400 mark.

Vintage paperbacks are often collected for their lurid subject matter and graphic covers. Drug-related paperbacks – and you know 'em when you see 'em – offer collectors some of the finest exploitation titles in the field. Here are ten valuable vintage drug paperbacks that are tops in the collectibles marketplace. Got dope? These paperbacks do – in spades...

Dope, Inc. by Joachim Joesten (Avon, 1953)

Joachim Joesten's lurid Dope, Inc. was published as Avon #538 in 1953. "Unmasking a Vicious Racket," reads the cover blurb. Originally sold for 25 cents, a Dope, Inc. paperback in excellent condition today is valued at $50-75.

Dope, Inc. 1953 Avon #538 - Avon Books

Junkie by William Lee (Ace Double, 1953)

Famed Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs authored Junkie under the pseudonym William Lee. It was published as Ace Double D-15 in 1953 with the flip side featuring the novel Narcotic Agent by Maurice Helbrant. A first edition in excellent condition sold at auction for $447.50.

Junkie/Narcotic Agent 1953 Ace Double D-15 - Ace Books

Marihuana by William Irish (Dell, 1951)

Cornell Woolrich a.k.a. William Irish authored Marihuana, released as Dell Ten-Cent #11 in 1951. "A cheap and evil girl sets a hopped-up killer against a city," reads the cover blurb. Marihuana (and that isn't a misspelling) is a biggie in the field, with examples in top condition commanding $150-200.

The Golden Spike by Hal Ellson (Ballantine, 1952)

Hal Ellson's The Golden Spike was published as Ballantine #2 in 1952. "This is a drug addict. He is 16. This angry novel tells his story with truth and compassion," reads the cover blurb. A first edition in excellent or better condition carries a value of $150-175.

The Golden Spike 1952 Ballantine #2 - Ballantine Books

H Is for Heroin by David Hulburd (Popular Library, 1953)

David Hulburd's H Is for Heroin was published as Popular Library #495 in 1953. Pictured on the cover is a dejected bobby soxer addict along with the blurb, "A Teen-Age Narcotic Tells Her Story." Find this first printing drug-related paperback in top condition and it's worth $25-35.

Reefer Club by Luke Roberts (Stallion, 1953)

Luke Roberts' Reefer Club (perhaps you had one at your high school) was published as Stallion #213 in 1953. "A Daring Novel of Reefer Smoke – Reckless Thrills – And The Wild Love of Boys and Girls of the City Streets," blares the cover blurb. One copy in very good+ to fine condition recently sold on eBay for $134.47.

Reefer Club 1953 Stallion #213 - goodgirlart.com

Musk, Hashish and Blood by Hector France (Avon, 1952)

Hector France's Musk, Hashish and Blood was published as Avon #415 in 1952. "The Adventures of a Modern Man Among the Cruel Men and Passionate Women of Algiers," declares the cover blurb. This paperback with Harem girl cover is valued at $30-35 in excellent condition.

I Was a Drug Addict by Leroy Street with David Loth (Pyramid, 1954)

This confessional nonfiction paperback was published as Pyramid #122 in 1954 with cover art by Julian Paul. No cover blurb needed here as the title says it all. Find this lurid paperback recounting one man's drug woes in top condition and it could be worth $150.

I Was a Drug Addict 1954 Pyramid #122 - goodgirlart.com

The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren (Cardinal, 1951)

Nelson Algren's classic The Man with the Golden Arm was published as Cardinal #C-31 in 1951 with dust jacket. "More powerful than a woman's love...more binding than a man's word...It was DOPE!" warns the cover blurb. The Man with the Golden Arm was later released as a movie in 1955 starring Frank Sinatra as heroin addict Frankie Machine. If one were to find this paperback with the all-important dust jacket in near mint condition it would be valued at over $100.

Marijuana Girl by N.R. de Mexico (Beacon, 1960)

N.R. de Mexico's sizzling Marijuana Girl was published as Beacon #B-328 in 1960. "She Fell Prey to the Foulest of Rackets!" reads the banner blurb right across the cover featuring a tart, lipsticked blonde in revealing nightie. This drug paperback is huge with collectors, with top condition examples selling in the $300 range. 

Thousands of other drug-related vintage paperbacks – Drugged Dolls, Hooked, Monkey on My Back, The Needle, I'll Get Mine, The Marijuana Mob, The Pusher, Weed, Black Opium, et al., – await the discerning collector.

Top Paperback Image

  • Marihuana 1951 Dell Ten-Cent #11 $150-200 - Dell


William J. Felchner
Posted on Oct 2, 2011
Posted on Oct 2, 2011
James R. Coffey
Posted on Mar 30, 2011