Deep down inside, we’ve always known that the “War on Drugs” was political speak for something much more sinister.
One of Richard Nixon’s top advisers and a key figure in the Watergate scandal said the war on drugs was created as a political tool to fight blacks and hippies.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Think what you want about this admission, but it certainly explains a lot!
In case you don’t remember, Nixon’s public explanation for his legislation in the war on drugs, delivered in message to Congress in July 1969, was framed as a response to an increase in heroin addiction and the rising use of marijuana and hallucinogens by students.