Nixon Administration, Richard

Richard Nixon assumed the office of president under less than ideal circumstances. With particular regard to drug use trends, the news could have scarcely been more grim. Regardless of the source, virtually all indicators showed dramatic increases in the number of Americans using illicit narcotics. Even so, there was tremendous disagreement among the various expert constituencies as to the extent and nature of the problem. Moreover, the specter of illegal drug use and related crime was far from the most pressing concern weighing upon the American psyche.

In a May 1969 White House survey, only 3 percent of respondents identified drug use as one of the most important problems facing the nation. Apart from the war in Vietnam and foreign relations, Americans appeared more concerned about ...

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