40 Years of Drug War Hasn’t Worked; “Time for a Change,” Says 9-Year Vetera
By Eric Sterling,
June 15, 2011
The “War on Drugs” was launched by President Richard
Nixon 40 years ago this week. In 1980, at the end of its
first decade, I began a nine-year career as a “captain”
in the war on drugs. I was the attorney in the U.S.
House of Representatives principally responsible for
overseeing DEA and writing anti-drug laws as counsel to
the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime.
White House leadership
The heart of Nixon’s 5,300-word message to Congress on
June 17, 1971 was a plan “to consolidate at the highest
level a full-scale attack on the problem of drug abuse
in America” in a White House Office. The office was
dismantled soon after Nixon resigned having been
resisted by Cabinet secretaries and anti-drug agencies.