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Nixon Aide Alleges Drug War Meant to Target Black People

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Why Is a Revelation Made 20 Years Ago Just Now Gaining Traction?

As more states continue to legalize marijuana, whether medically, recreationally, or both, the stigma around the drug still pervades the American conscious.

In order to understand that, as well as the stigma around drug abuse in general, we need to look backwards to the times in our nation’s history when society was made to collectively feel a certain way about drugs, alcohol, or other “threats” to our way of life.

When it comes down to which drugs are legal and which drugs are not, our stigmas stem only partially from the drugs themselves, having been heavily influenced by what we associate with them: where they come from, who sells them, at what point in US history they became prevalent.

Alcoholism was rampant in America when Prohibition came into effect, and afterwards both alcohol related deaths and the social stigma around alcoholism declined. When the US Government turned its head towards drugs in the 1960s, was it really the public health they were looking to protect?

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Credit: iStock/ MiroNovak Atypeek/ Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This Nixon aide says it was all based in race.