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The war on drugs is the title of the policy of aggressively pursuing the production, distribution and use of illegal drugs that are abused for pleasurable effects. Since 1971, when President Richard M. Nixon launched the War on Drugs, thousands of people who were in some way involved with illegal drugs have been killed, and millions more have been arrested and imprisoned.

Natural drugs from herbs and plants number in the thousands. Most of these are taken as tonics, stimulants, or medicinally; while others are used for religious purposes. With the advances of chemistry in the 20th century many new drugs were developed. At first medicinal drugs were controlled by governments in order to protect people from unscrupulous purveyors of quack remedies. Then, as new synthetic ...

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