America 's War On Drugs

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On June 17th, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be “America’s Public Enemy #1” in a press conference in which he called for an “all out offensive” against this enemy, an initiative that would later be known as America’s War on Drugs. By giving this speech, thus starting “The War on Drugs,” President Nixon created what would eventually become one of the most catastrophic failures in United States political history. Analysis of the historical events surrounding Nixon’s declaration reveal ulterior motives behind the initiative, providing context to the reasons for its failure, which were based short term in its moral failure, and long term in its failure of efficiency and results. The War on Drugs has lasted for generations and continues to be responsible for policies that criminalize non-violent drug offenders at the expense of taxpayers, contributing to a devastating mass incarceration dilemma in the United States that perpetuates a disproportionate marginalization of low-class, particularly African American citizens. The declaration of a “War on Drugs,” upon surface inspection, addressed the American public in its entirety. The issue that the speech and the coinciding initiative sought to resolve was drug use in American society, which was becoming an increasing problem, particularly in African American communities and among Vietnam War protesters. The speech occurred in 1971 during the Vietnam War, and just after the resolution of the Civil Rights

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