Anti-Drug Operations, 1980s

After several years of moderating attitudes toward drugs, the 1980s ushered in a resurgence of strong anti-drug sentiment and the implementation of increasingly harsh penalties for drug offenders.

Following the Nixon administration's “War on Drugs,” the Ford and Carter administrations de-emphasized law and order approaches to drug use. During the Ford administration the Domestic Council Drug Abuse Task Force issued the White Paper on Drug Abuse, which stated that although government could contain problems associated with drug use, complete elimination of use was unlikely. This document also noted that not all illegal drugs were equally dangerous and advocated a prioritization of enforcement efforts. The Carter administration pushed for federal decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. Carter also appointed Dr. Peter G. Bourne, a proponent of marijuana ...

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