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The Civil Rights Movement

Autor:   •  October 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  316 Words (2 Pages)  •  937 Views

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The government first started to get involved in regulating drug use during the 1960s and 1970s. This was a period of transition for the U.S. The Civil Rights Movement, the anti-Vietnam War protests, and counterculture were all taking place during this time. Drugs began to represent protest and social rebellion. In 1968 the Bureau of Narcotics was founded in order to bring agencies together. To combat those who were fighting against the traditional values, President Nixon and other politicians initiated a War on Drugs. Unfortunately, this War on Drugs focused primarily on African Americans, Hispanics, and liberals. Drug abuse was seen as a law enforcement issue that could be fixed with aggressive policies and more incarceration. Nixon’s attempt to stop the use of illegal drugs began because of the heroin use by soldiers in Vietnam and then the focus shifted to cocaine use. More drugs were being brought into the U.S. from South American countries.

During the 1980s more is being done to stop the trafficking of drugs into the U.S., and well as stop the increasing violence in areas like South Florida. This is when law enforcement agencies realize that traffickers are bringing in huge amounts of drugs. Because of the increased focus on Florida, the Mexican border becomes the major point of entry for drugs entering the U.S. Later the Just Say No campaign and the DARE program worked at preventing children from using drugs. President Reagan’s Anti-Drug Abuse Bill in 1986 increased the mandatory minimum sentence associated with the use of cocaine. More African Americans and Latinos were incarcerated because they could afford only crack cocaine compared to wealthy whites that could afford powdered cocaine.

Even with all of the laws, treatment and prevention programs, trillions of dollars, and increased incarceration drug use have risen over the years.

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