Anti Drug Laws During The United States Essay examples

1048 Words Dec 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
Going back, the first laws pertaining to the illegalization of drugs started on a state and local level rather than federal. Anti-drug laws have been established in the United States with the earliest one dating back to an ordinance passed by San Francisco in 1875 against the use of opium dens (Fisher, 2014). Over the past 40 years, The War on Drugs is a phrase commonly associated with the United States government effort to eradicate the use and distribution of drugs by means of legislation and law enforcement. In 1971, president Nixon coined the term ‘The War on Drugs’ emphasizing that “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse” (Woolley, Peters, n.d.). Two years later, President Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat the growing drug problem, giving it the power to work in nearly every authority in the United States. Furthermore, in 1973, per the Drug Policy Alliance (n.d.), governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, passed the Rockefeller Drug Laws which “mandated extremely harsh prison terms for possession or sale of … small amounts of drugs.” At this point, Nixon had arguably catalyzed the punitive anti-drug sentiment in the US government, as future president Ronald Reagan expanded on it by signing the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that included mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession for amounts as low as “5 grams of crack” and “500 grams of cocaine” (Sterling, n.d.). Presently, narcotic drugs are still illegal and…

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