America’s Drug Wars: Fifty Years of Reinforcing Racism

Source: Common Dreams
by Alfred W McCoy

“Fifty years ago, on June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood before the White House press corps, staffers at his side, to announce ‘a new, all-out offensive’ against drug abuse, which he denounced as ‘America’s public enemy number one.’ … The first battle in this new drug war would be fought in South Vietnam where, Nixon said, ‘a number of young Americans have become addicts as they serve abroad.’ While the president was declaring his war on drugs, I was stepping off a trans-Pacific flight into the searing tropical heat of Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, to report on the sources of supply for the drug abuse that was indeed sweeping through the ranks of American soldiers fighting this country’s war in Vietnam. As I would soon discover, the situation was far worse than anything Nixon could have conveyed in his sparse words.” (07/06/21)