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Lewis v. United States (1966)

  • By: William. C. Plouffe Jr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The 1960s in the United States are famous for the rise of the counterculture generation that rebelled against the traditional mores of society. During these years the nation's youth increasingly used illicit drugs. This time period was also renowned for numerous improvements in the realm of civil rights law made by the U.S. Supreme Court, which was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren. When the case of Lewis v. United States, 385 U.S. 206 (1966) came before the U.S. Supreme Court, it touched upon both of these issues: use of illicit drugs and the application of civil rights.

The facts of the case are as follows. The defendant, Lewis, was selling narcotic drugs from his house. The government employed an undercover federal agent to gather evidence ...

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