The declaration of The War on Drugs

Richard Milhous Nixon (AKA) Tricky Dicky served as The 37th President of The United States of America. He is most famous for the Watergate Scandal where members of his administration conducted clandestine and often illegal activities such as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his aides also ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the FBI, CIA, and the IRS. It was a time when the Vietnam War was very unpopular and protests against the war were prominently displayed in the news.

While in office the Controlled Substances Act became law and part of the law authorized a special federal commission to complete a comprehensive study into all aspects of marijuana use to confirm that marijuana should remain a schedule 1 drug. After 2 years of study it was claimed to be the most comprehensive study of marijuana ever done in the United States. On March 22 1972 Richard Nixon was presented the report from the study entitled “Marijuana; A Signal of Misunderstanding”. The study refuted the claims by politicians and law enforcement of the negative effects and crime associated with marijuana. It claimed in plain language that marijuana use was not associated with violent behavior and even went on to say that it tends to pacify its users. The report stated that there is little evidence of any physiological or psychological damage to the individual from casual use and recommended that marijuana be rescheduled and that private possession and use should not be criminalized. It even called for Congress to remove all criminal penalties for possession, use, and sale of the drug. These recommendations were ignored by Richard Nixon and Congress who over the next few months declared war on drugs and labeled marijuana “Public Enemy Number One”. The problem with declaring war on a drug is that the drug doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter to the drug what happens to it because it is not alive. The war is not being fought against marijuana; it is being waged against the people who use it with bitterness and vengeance. Marijuana users are some of the most hated people in this country and I can only wonder why society wants to ruin our lives through denied employment, fines, incarceration, seizures of our property and a myriad of other offences against us and our families. If there is something so horrible and offensive about marijuana use that it can never be accepted in society, not even in private, what is it?
End the war against the people who use marijuana now. It is unjust and a travesty for all those caught up in the conflict. We are not the enemies of this country. We are Americans

Randy Johnson