War On Drugs Effects

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The War on Drugs directly impacts the life of almost every American. The program began as a fight against drug abuse and the spread of dangerous operations including and related to drug trafficking into American cities. Each new president, for the most part, has continued the programs of their predecessors. The naissance of the government’s anti-drug program began under the presidency of Richard Nixon. He set the ball in motion by classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug and by directing his government agencies to target black social activists. President Gerald Ford stoked the flames by pushing for and achieving mandatory minimum sentences for drug related crimes in many states. President Ronald Reagan’s administration sullied Nancy Reagan’s …show more content…
A program known as COINTELPRO was used to survey and suppress the movement of many black civil rights organizations and leaders (Jalon). Law enforcement institutions were used as arrest and imprison black civil rights activists and leaders in order to jeopardize their success. Whether or not the insidious vein of that rumor is true, the victims, so to speak, of early War on Drugs during Nixon’s presidency were African-American. In the same year that Nixon became the President, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed (under Johnson a few months before the 1968 election), Black Power activists protested while they received Olympic gold and bronze, and the largest high school student strike of all history occurred in Los Angeles. It is certainly safe to say that racial tensions were at a peak beginning around the mid-1960s and the presidency of Richard …show more content…
Although he did win the presidency on a platform of marijuana decriminalization, backlash against counter-culture forced that to be axed from the docket. Ironically, a few of the years in which the Supreme Court heard the highest number of cases regarding illegal drugs were during the Carter Presidency (fig. 2). But in the grand scheme, the Supreme Court did not play a role at all in the War on Drugs; their rulings were all regarding specific breaches of Fourth Amendment

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