Happy 40th war on drugs?

In a June 17, 1971 speech,  President Richard Nixon introduced a $350 million effort that launched what became known as the war on drugs:

He said: “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

During this anniversary week, the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf offered a brief critique of the war on drugs despite the DEA’s ballooning budget.

This isn’t the DEA’s fault. The illicit trade in narcotics is a black market that cannot be eliminated in a free society. But why do legislators continue to increase its size?

He includes quite a chart that shows how the department’s budget was a paltry $65,200,000 in 1972… compared to $2,602,000,000 in 2009.

  • CitizenM

    Does anyone remember the 18th Amendment and the huge crime rate that ensued? At least Joe Kennedy got rich and gave us JFK. Maybe that is why Nixon launched his “War on Drugs.” (Nixon was defeated by JFK in 1960 with a little help from the “Mob”). The Marijuana Stamp Act? Americans do not know their own history, are hypocritical or just plain stupid. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, people. Washington and Jefferson were hemp farmers. Oh, why bother…

  • Kate Brandtner

    What happened with a big bust in Cazadero yesterday 3 August?

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