Drugs and Alcohol in the Criminal Justice System

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Frank Herton
CJ411: Drugs and Alcohol in the Criminal Justice System
Unit 2 Assignment
May 1, 2012

Drug and alcohol abuse has been around as long as humans have been around. People have always had the desire to use substances to make them feel relaxed or stimulated. So because drugs and alcohol have always been existent, they have always been a part of our American culture through politics, media and advertising, and other American concepts. The time period of 1950-2000 was exceptionally active for American culture, and there were many turning points in research and knowledge, legislature, media, and how the general public viewed drug and alcohol use.

From approximately 1950-1980, law firms defending tobacco companies really had their work cut out for them because around this time smoking tobacco was beginning to be linked to lung cancer and other diseases. The Tobacco Institute reassured people for decades that there was no link between smoking cigarettes and any diseases, however the Industry knew there was a chance for disease and chose to deny the risks and misrepresent tobacco. Research and studies were conducted, however they could not get proof that cigarette smoking was a cause of cancer. A full page statement was released and ran in over 450 American newspapers and was aimed at over 43 million people in 1954. It was called “A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers,” and was written by the Tobacco Industry Research Committee to help ease the mind of American smokers, and show that there was no direct link between cigarette smoking and cancer found by researchers (“Tobacco News”, 2012).

Only a few years later, in 1957, famous actor Humphrey Bogart died of esophagus cancer. He was well known for his heavy smoking on and off screen. Bogart had to get his esophagus removed, along with two lymph nodes and a rib due to his cancer, and he weighed only 80 pounds when he died (“History of Drugs in America: Humphrey Bogart,” 2012). His death began to...
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