The War on Drugs is a controversial topic that has caused cultural and political shifts in U.S. history. While drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine were considered “miracle substances” for their alleged health benefits, they have been driven underground by certain drug policies and legislation. This created a global drug market that affected America’s diplomacy with other countries. The black market for drugs destabilized many countries, including Mexico and Colombia. While the drug war affects diplomacy abroad, in America, there is sustainable debate between those that still support it and those that rally against it. After 106 years, the debate rages with a multitude of viewpoints ranging from legalization to harsh penalties. Recently this has come even more to the public stage with the "reefer rebellion" in the United States, starting in 2011.
Nixon declares "the war on drugs"
Despite the fact that the war on drugs actually began in the early 1900s, this point is used by many to signify the beginning of the war. Away from the semantics, this point is a very important one in history of the drug war as a whole. This was one year after the passing of the Controlled Substances Act and President Nixon thought drugs would lead to degradation of society and wanted to curb the counterculture movement by attacking drugs. The next year, Nixon said that after speaking to a delegation from New York State "that despite our budget problems, to the extent money can help in meeting the problem of dangerous drugs it will be available. This is one area where we cannot have budget cuts."