What is the "War on Drugs?"
A phrase that refers to the U.S. government's campaign to stop the import, production, sale, and use of illegal drugs.
Efforts include severe penalties for people who possess drugs and who sell drugs and increased border patrols to prevent drugs from entering the country.
Ronald-Reagan-Speech On The War on drugs
In his speech, he addressed the importance of combatting illegal drugs and the damaging effect on the youth.
Ronald Reagan's wife, Nancy, continued the war on drugs in the 1980s. Slogans saying, "Just say no," became popular.
President Richard Nixon started the campaign on the war on drugs. He was a strong opposer of illegal drugs in the United States and callled it "America's #1 public enemy."
- Richard Nixon declared the "War on Drugs."
- On June 17,1971: Claimed that "America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse."
- The War on Drugs involved a rapid intervention in the domestic, political, and military affairs of foreign states.
- The war on drugs intensified more during the administration of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989.)
- On October 2,1982 President Ronald Reagan announced that his administration would expand the war on drugs.
- He named Vice President George H.W. Bush the chief coordinator of drug policy.
- Bush worked along with different federal organizations, such as: DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol.
- Once in office, Bush concentrated on targeting the drug users themselves.
- Nixon immedietely responded to the domestic drug issue by passing the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
- This act created a system whereby the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) & the Food and Drug Administration classified different drugs according to their potential effect for abuse and harm.
- The market for illegal drugs expanded greatly during the 1940s and 1950s, but there was little concern in the mainstream society until the 1960s and 1970s.
- During the 60s and 70s there was a rapid increase in consumption rates, particularly among upper- and middle- class young people.
- There was a huge upsurge in illicit drug use, both among soldiers serving in the Vietnam War and at home.
- Many began to talk about the legalization of drugs.
- The new "drug of choice" of the 70s and 80s became cocaine, a highly addictive and destructive drug based on its few short-term side effects.
- High Consumption of Marijuana and Hallucinogenic Drugs.
- It was against this background that Richard Nixon came to power and campaigned his "War on Drugs."
What Impact did the event have on history?
Mass Incarceration (Massive Increase in the U.S Prison population.)
Since 1980 the number of prisoners has nearly doubled every decade. This can be attributed to the term coined by Richard Nixon "The War On Drugs."
The economic cost of mass incarceration has been disproportionately borne by poor people,males, and minorities. Too often making a trap for generations of poor families.
Having a parent in prison increases the likelihood of homelessness and poverty, therefore, putting these children at a high risk of going to prison and again resetting the same cycle of poverty.