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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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The War over the War on Drugs

The War over the War on Drugs

(p.317) 21 The War over the War on Drugs
Drugs and Thugs

Russell Crandall

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the war over the war on drugs, which is a secondary, derivative, and ideological war that is used as a framing device for understanding the question of drugs in the United States over the past two decades. It addresses whether the fight against drugs has achieved its objectives and whether the moral, political, economic, and personal costs of protracted policies of drug prohibition outweigh liberalization. It also refers to John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under George W. Bush, who recruited core American values to defend the drug war. The chapter discusses the conservative view on drugs, which was reiterated by the Temperance and Prohibition movements as part of the Progressive reform wave that swept the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. It points out how pervasive drug use in America is a signal of moral decline, and prohibition is the only solution.

Keywords:   drug prohibition, liberalization, John Walters, American values, drug war

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