A former aide to president Nixon has been making headlines for a very bold statement regarding the Drug War that Nixon started when he was in office. The aide, John Ehrlichman, had been put in jail after the Watergate scandal.
The War on Drugs is still going, and has been since 1971. Since it began, there has been a serious increase in the amount of people jailed on drug charges. According to the aide, that was done intentionally, and they specifically targeted African Americans and hippies.
Ehrlichman said that the main people who opposed Nixon when he was running and after he was elected were those who were against the war—the hippie movement—and African Americans. The administration wanted to do something to control those groups, but clearly couldn’t make being black or opposing a war illegal.
Instead, he claims they set out to convince the public that African American people frequently used heroin and that hippies smoked marijuana. They then made those things illegal. In this way, they could disrupt both communities and arrest prominent members of the communities on drug charges; they could also get into their homes during raids.
On top of that, they could make these groups out to look like villains, helping to turn people against them. Ehrlichman even said that the government definitely knew it was lying with regard to the drugs, but that they were just using drugs to accomplish other goals in a way that most people would support.
Though this is just one man’s account, it is interesting to look at his perspective, and it underscores how important it is for those who are accused in Florida to know their rights.
Source: Huffington Post, “Nixon Aide Reportedly Admitted Drug War Was Meant To Target Black People,” Hilary Hanson, accessed March 24, 2016