History of the United States of America war on drugs began way back in the early 1900s. However, a number of drugs started becoming common in the late 1800s. The prevalent drugs were opium, cocaine, morphine and heroine. Cocaine was common after the Civil war in America. Cocaine was allegedly used in the manufacture of the popular beverage Coca-Cola; heroine was used to treat respiratory illnesses, and morphine was been used for other medicinal purposes but was abused from time to time (Count The Costs, 2012). It was realized that the psychotropic drugs had a great potential of addiction and the level of abuse of these drugs had reached epidemic proportions. The rampant drug abuse called for urgent attention from the authorities and a number of states started cracking down of opium dens and prohibiting is importation.
In 1906, in a bid to curb drug abuse, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was assented by President Theodore Roosevelt into law. Its enforcement was delegated to the Bureau of Chemistry in the US Department of Agriculture. The department changed its name in 1930 to the US Food and Drug Administration (Count The Costs, 2012). The US Department of Agriculture was tasked with prohibiting both foreign and interstate movement of adulterated and mislabeled food and drug products. The Administration was to inspect products and forward the offenders to the prosecutors for prosecution.
In 1914, the Harrison Narcotic Drugs Act was enacted, and it became the first federal drug policy. The Act was aggressively enforced to restrict the manufacture and sale of Heroine, morphine, Cocaine and marijuana. Approximately five thousand physicians who violated provisions of the Act were prosecuted in a span of just fifteen years.
The US Treasury Department established the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930 and the Bureau strongly shaped the United States drug policies (Dean, et al., 2012). It was after the establishment of Federal Bureau of Narcotics that drugs were increasingly criminalized. Consequently, in 1951 the Boggs Act was passed into law. The Act increased the penalties for the use of marijuana. In 1956, The Narcotic control Act was enacted. The Act drastically increased the penalties for drug abuse and was regarded as the most punitive anti-narcotics legislation in the history of the U. S. Drugs related legislation to be passed by congress. The Act did not allow for suspension and issuing of probation for those who violated the provisions of the Act. Moreover, the act limited the issuing of parole to only first offenders.
It has been written that The Federal Bureau of Narcotic used propaganda in a bid to discourage narcotic drug use in the United States. It spread myths and horror stories all to the effect that using narcotic drugs was catastrophic. This campaign managed to discourage minors from undertaking narcotic drug use (Levine, 2009). Narcotics addict Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1966 to put in place rehabilitation centers to assist those who suffered from mental illness as a result of the narcotic drugs. However, it was not effective as the program received very little funding.
U. S. President, Richard Nixon, wedged war on, drugs in the year 1971 terming drug abuse as the biggest enemy to the US. He increased the funding of various anti-narcotics programs. Drug Enforcement agency was created in 1973 in a bid to force Mexico to regulate its marijuana growth (Dean, et al., 2012). However, the move failed. In 1977, The US President, President Carter, called for decriminalization of marijuana. However, it was also not successful in getting rid of the drug abuse menace.
In 1981, President Reagan vowed to continue with the fight that Nixon started though he acknowledged the challenges that were in existence in the fight (Levine, 2009). In 1986, an anti-drug abuse policy was put in place and it main aim was to hold a drug user fully accountable for their actions and provided for their prosecution.
The National Institute of Drug abuse estimated that, in the year 1993, there were approximately two and a half million drug users in the United States of America. In 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act put in place labeling requirements. In 1996 Federal Tea Tasters Repeal Act replaced Tea Importation Act. In 1997, Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act reauthorized Prescription Drug user fee of 1992. In the year 2000, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court set precedent that the FDA did not have authority to regulate the use of tobacco as a drug. In 2004, Project Bio Shield Act of 2004 granted FDA more power to deal with drug issues and in the year 2009 Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. FDA Center for Tobacco Products was established which announced a ban on cigarettes with flavors characterizing fruit, candy and clove (Thaul, 2012).
Count The Costs. (2012). The War on Drugs. Creating crime, enriching criminals , 1-14.
The Count of Costs Organization in the War on drugs journal gives a fifty year history of the drug menace in the US. The article enumerates the stages of the drug menace. The article discusses the pioneer drugs in United States from the Neighboring Countries and the inter-state traffic of these drugs. The article further highlights the original uses of these drugs before they were abused. It also discusses the initial measures that were taken by the states to try and manage the drug addiction and abuse situation before it got out of hand.
Dean, W., Derouin, L., Kania, E., Keefe, T., Perez, V., Reyes, R., et al. (2012). The War on Mexican Cartels. Institute of Politics , 1-34.
Harvard University Institute of Politics scholars, who wrote the journal article, particularize their findings on the research they conducted on the relationship between the United States of America and Mexico with regards to the drug issue. In the article, they first start by giving a history of the drug traffic from Mexico to the United States of America. It discusses the factors that bolstered the increased use of drugs in the US. The journal article further details the particular drugs that were moved into the United States of America from Mexico.
Levine, H. G. (2009). The Secret of Worldwide drug Prohibition. The independent Review , 1-17.
Levine gives a brief history of the growing demand for Narcotics in the US. He then focuses on the drug war that the United States of America has engaged since the early 1900s. He outlines the steps that the United States Government undertook in an attempt to curb drug trafficking. He discusses theoretical reasons why some of the steps undertaken by the United States Government did not yield the expected results. He concludes by making proposals that would work in curbing the issue of drugs not only in the United States but also to the world over.
Thaul, S. (2012). How FDA Approves Drugs and Regulates; . Their Safety and Effectiveness , 1-23.
Susan Thaul, a specialist in drug safety and effectiveness, focuses on the role played by the FDA recently in curbing the drug menace. She highlights the recent steps undertaken by the United States government in the same war. She highlighted the recent legislation assented to by President Obama and what effects the legislation has had on the regulation of drug use. She focused on the regulation put in place by the FDA in regulating the use of Tobacco.