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Carter Administration, James

  • By: Debra L. Gresham
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

James Carter was elected the 39th president of the United States in 1976 and served one term, 1977–81. President Carter's drug policies could be described as both harm reduction and reduction of use, but more focused on harm reduction. The legacy of Carter's administration in regard to drug policy was his attempt to decriminalize marijuana; his diplomatic relations with Mexico and Colombia; and the resignation of his medical-policy advisor amid a drug scandal.

Background

Drug policy developments in the prior two administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had a direct impact on Carter's efforts. President Nixon is credited with first using the term War on Drugs in 1969 to signify that drug abuse would now be public enemy number one. Although Nixon coined the ...

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