Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Since President Nixon declared that the U.S. was to wage an “all out war” against the use of illegal drugs, the “war on drugs” has been part of the American vocabulary as well as domestic policy. The 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act consolidated all previous legislation concerning drug control, while the Controlled Substances Act established the legality of substances with a five-category system based on medical value and addictiveness of the drug (pbs.org). For the most part, however, early efforts were organizational in nature; the domestic “war” would be fought more than a decade later. It is important to understand how U.S. drug control policy, embodied by the war analogy, has developed over the last 20 years because this development continues to define policy into the 21st Century.