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Global drug prohibition policy in brief
The first anti-drug laws go back to the late 19th century America and span over a century:
The 1870s – anti-opium laws directed at Chinese immigrants. The 1900s – anti-cocaine laws directed at African American men in the South. The 1910s-20s – anti-marijuana laws directed at Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans. The 1960s – drugs became symbols of youthful rebellion which caused the government to halt scientific research on their medical safety and efficacy. 1971 – President Nixon declared “war on drugs”. It involved the increased presence of federal drug control agencies and such measures as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. 1997 – As a result of the anti-drug policy, the number of people under lock and key for nonviolent drug law offences increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.
During George W. Bush presidency, state-level reforms finally began to slow the growth of the drug war. Even politicians (e.g., George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Barack Obama) routinely admitted to having used marijuana, and even cocaine in their younger days.
Since public opinion has shifted dramatically in