October 26, 2010
History of the War on Drugs The war on drugs has been an ongoing fight that many presidents and foreign allegiances have tried to stop the trafficking, distribution and use of illegal drugs into the United States and around the world. Policy and laws have been created and maintained and changed to try and prevent illegal drugs being made in other countries as well as the United States and from being brought across the borders into the United States. The punishment for the drug traffickers and users has been an issue with the campaign to stop illegal drug use and trafficking. Through the United States history the president’s and their administration have been focusing on how to deal with the war on drugs by making laws, arresting people for their illegal activities and most recently giving drug addicts professional help.
The first U.S. law which restricted the distribution and use of certain drugs was the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 which was a United States federal law that regulated and taxed the production, importation, and distribution of opiates (PBS Frontline). In 1919 the National Prohibition Act prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption on a national level. The act defined intoxicating liquor as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol. With the combination of the Eighteenth Amendment and this laws was passed under the House of Representatives authority became known simply as "Prohibition" (Congressional Record). Although Nixon popularized the term "War on Drugs" when he first used it in 1971, the policies that his administration implemented as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 were a continuation of drug prohibition policies in the U.S. which stretched back to the year 1914. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is a United States federal law that, with subsequent modifications, requires the pharmaceutical
Cited: Congressional Record. 1919 Congressional Record, Vol. 65, p. 1944 DEA History Book