It was forty years ago today… The “War on Drugs” from Nixon’s White House Tapes

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator June 17, 2011

    Get the facts about Nixon’s War on Marijuana Consumers – Pre-Order your copy of NORML’s Big Book of Marijuana Facts today!

    Since 1900, we have spent as much time fighting a war on drugs as we spent fighting wars in foreign countries.

    It was forty years ago today,
    Richard Nixon taught the world to hate
    The people who would smoke a weed
    Protesting war and hate and greed.
    So may I introduce to you
    The war you’ve known for all these years,
    Richard Nixon’s Hopeless War on Drugs.
    (lyrics by Russ Belville set to the tune of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – apologies to Lennon & McCartney!)

    On this 40th Anniversary of the “War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs”, I decided for our podcast I would delve deep into the Nixon White House Tapes (available at http://nixontapes.org) with some help from transcripts provided by Common Sense for Drug Policy.   Visit http://stash.norml.org/nixontapes to read and hear the rest of our audio chronology of the War on Drugs and the Shafer Report that first called for decriminalization of marijuana in 1972.

    40 responses to “It was forty years ago today… The “War on Drugs” from Nixon’s White House Tapes”

    1. Shaun says:

      I love when he says the homosexuals will destroy the country…but they are too weak to serve in the millitary…so if they are that weak how can they destroy the country?

    2. Congradulations you White House ha ha charade you are.
      40 of my 51 spent chasing your own tail.
      And me standing by watching money n lives wasted.
      Good thing my fish dint get caught in your net.
      How bout we norml ones all get it done.
      Spank their silly asses n take our money baxck.

    3. Little Gypsy says:

      Nixon was a crook and a grade A Asshole to boot! 58,000 soldiers died in Vietnam and countless others were wounded both mentally and physically. It was a total waste. I will say I respect the troops that went and wish they were treated better coming home both then and now! Soldiers I salute you. Politicians I despise you.

    4. Jeedi says:

      It should be obvious to anybody who studies history that Nixon’s “Drug War” had more to do about quelling the popularity and agenda of the hippie movement from the 60s than keeping people safe from drugs. Nixon used drugs as an excuse to go after anti-war protestors that were really having an effect on US foreign policy at the time. Along with hippie celebrities like John Lennon who were becoming too powerful for the establishment, Nixon wanted to stop the whole counterculture movement.

      For anybody out there reading this that supports the Drug War, grow the hell up! Anybody with enough compassion and sense can see that the Drug War is only a tool to crack down on segments of the population; and a tool to generate money from the public through legal fees and forfeiture. Right now the big purpose for the Drug War 2011 is to feed the prison industrial complex, drive the judicial businesses from legal aids to judges, and of course law enforcement.

      The pharmaceutical, tobacco, and alcohol industries also play a roll, along with other lobbyists usually with monetary ambitions. The Drug War today is also an attack on people of color.

      Please, be a real human being of understanding and reason and support ending this horrible crime against humanity known as the Drug War.

    5. True American says:

      $80.00..!! thats a little steep for information that can be found for free and with ease on the internet. I love reading and it looks like a cool book….but $80.00?

      [Russ responds: $60. The Big Book is only $80 if you want the next year’s updates. As the person who compiled this information “for free and with ease”, let me tell you it’s been almost nine months of fact-checking and researching. Then there are the custom charts I created that you won’t find anywhere on the internet. It’s meant to be used by activists who are tabling at expos and outdoor hempfests who won’t have access to the internet (even AC power sometimes). It’s like an oversize coffee-table book that doubles as a free-standing presentation easel. I understand money is tight (believe me!) but I assure you that price covers printing cost, assembly time, and licensing fees back to NORML (aka “a percentage of this book benefits NORML” which pays for the research and writing and web hosting that makes this information available “for free and with ease on the internet”. Plus, I am self-publishing and don’t have the benefit of a huge company with great bulk processing and assembly line labor. Literally every NORML Big Book is put together by hand by me.]

      I guess I wouldnt have a problem with the price but honestly Im not sure if NORML is inline with my beliefs any longer (Full Legalization). They have really seemed to fully embrace the Medical Marijuana movement which in the end is not sustainable (for alot of reasons) and will eventually give FULL CONTROLL to the PHARMACEUTICAL companies. Once they have control of a multi million/billion dollar industry they we NEVER release it. If you think the lobbists from the alcohol and cig companies were tuff … just wait.

      At the end of the day I dont want to smoke Medical Marijuana its just too darn strong the high is too much. I just want to sit back and smoke some good old fashion hippie brew.

      Legalize it and be done with it!

      [Editor’s note: Again, you must have NORML confused with medical cannabis-only groups like Americans for Safe Access as NORML is clearly the most famous and transparent public advocate on earth in favor of legalizing cannabis. Period.]

    6. Joel: the other Joel says:

      There are those who have great sympathy toward Nixon’s failed ambition.
      I am not one of them.

    7. Brennon Maynard says:

      its not like any other president has been any better on the war on drugs. its still failing and still costing tax payers out the ass. Ron Paul 2012, Legalize freedom of choice, personal responsibility, and the constitution, and end the fed!

      [Editor’s note: Unfortunately, Ron Paul is too old and is clearly unelectable (even among Republican voters…) for president, so how can he be the answer for voters?]

    8. The American Genesist says:

      “And – they keep paying on a dead horse” – and – we keep letting them. We can correct man’s mistakes – just stop re-electing them. It’s funny – they spend like a drunken sailor – and – we keep letting them back in the bar.

    9. Economical gain via prohibition, need a job then try law enforcement. I’d much rather you be a cop than a non-user. Take back America, be the police, the Judge, the legal system.