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“War on Drugs”

Richard Nixon first used the term War on Drugs in 1969 as an attempt to elevate the drive for drug prohibition to the same status of Lyndon Johnson's “War on Poverty.” The initiative set forth a volley of policies and laws intended to discourage targeted substances’ production, distribution, and consumption. This attempt to define and address the illegal drug trade lasted 40 years, was endorsed by multiple administrations, and encompassed programs that affected the United States’ domestic and foreign policy. While the program achieved certain successes, it also garnered a great deal of criticism from observers concerned with states’ rights, inequities in enforcement, and the program's overall efficacy. As of 2009, the Obama administration, through the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), indicated ...

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