Drugs During The Civil War

1421 Words Apr 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Drugs first surfaced in the United States in the 1800s. After the Civil War opium become very popular and was used medicinally. Following opium was cocaine which was also used as a health remedy but near the end of the 19th century opium and cocaine abuse peaked and local governments began to prohibit opium dens and importation. In 1914 the first federal drug policy, the Harrison Narcotics act, is passed and drugs are no longer seen as harmless remedies. The act aggressively regulated the manufacturing of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and morphine. During the 50’s more federal drug policies were passed and drugs began to become more criminalized. The 60’s saw a rise in counter-culture and substances such as marijuana and LSD saw widespread use. The demand for drugs skyrocketed in the 1960s. In 1971 President Nixon declared drug abuse America 's number one enemy and proclaimed that we must wave a all out offensive. After President Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971, the United States has spent more than a trillion dollars on this failing policy that not only has had no effect on the amount of drugs being used in the United States and has increased the number of people incarcerated on drug charges from just 50,000 to over half a million, but also has helped fuel drug cartels and foment violence and death through overdoses from uncontrolled drug potency and turf wars between street gangs.
The War on Drugs has an annual cost of $51 billion("Drug War Statistics." Drug Policy.…

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