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Johnson Administration, Lyndon

Lyndon Johnson assumed the presidency of the United States under trying circumstances. Having inherited the office in the wake of John Kennedy's assassination, Johnson was immediately thrust into the combined fires of a grieving nation, an escalating war in southeast Asia and domestic unrest in the form of civil rights protests and a rising crime rate. Adding to these mounting pressures, the problem of illegal narcotics was steadily growing.

The early part of Johnson's administration was characterized by events set in place under Kennedy. Perhaps the most notable of these was the report from the White House Conference on Narcotic and Drug Abuse, more commonly known as the Petty-man Commission (in reference to its chair, Judge E. Barrett Pettyman). A primary effect of the Pettyman report ...

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