John Ehrlichman, Nixon's right hand man in an interview with Dan Baum said:
"The Nixon campaign in 1968 and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies, the anti-war left and black people. Do you understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or to be black. But by getting the public to associate hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin and then criminalizing both heavily we could disrupt those communities. We could raid their homes, break up their meetings, vilify them every night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
This is why I believe President Nixon started the drug war, not for any humanitarian reasons, but for purely political and racist reasons and it needs to stop. We can put a stop to it by demanding an end to the lies, and dismantling the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). We'll save billions of tax payer dollars and an unimaginable number of American lives in the process.
Unfortunately we have hugely powerful pharmaceutical corporations, who provide lifesaving drugs, while at the same time that they lobby our government heavily in order to keep cannabis and opium illegal in order to keep us reliant on non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) such as ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Aleve, Motrin) and prescription drugs for conditions which have no cure, such as osteoarthritis. It has been proven that the use of ibuprofen and other NSAID's on a regular basis over a long period of time can destroy the kidneys and cause death. Even acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) can be harmful if taken over a long period of time. So, why are "naturally growing" products for pain relief kept illegal, when they may have fewer side effects and be more effective at pain relief? One reason may be because the pharmaceutical industry does not make as much profit from "natural product" such as marijuana, and they do not want the competition, in my opinion.
I only recently learned that the National Cancer Institute has said that cannabis and cannabinoids kill cancer cells, as well as having other beneficial uses for cancer patients. The National Cancer Institute is a part of the federal government, so essentially the same government that continues the insane and very expensive "war on drugs" keeps insisting that cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana) is a schedule 1 drug, which by definition means it has no medicinal properties, and at the same time is telling us it has many medical benefits. The federal government is being hypocritical and talking out of both sides of its mouth.
I very much believe that the criminalization of marijuana is also a major reason why the U.S. incarceration rate shot up dramatically when President Reagan began strictly enforcing the drug laws in the 1980's. The United States has 5% of the world's population yet it has 25% of the world's prisoners -- higher than both Russia and China. States that have legalized the marijuana use, such as Colorado, have seen not only a welcome influx of tax dollars, which they use to support schools and public services, but have also shown a reduction in drunk driving. Other nations that legalized all drugs have had a reduction in drug addiction, whereas here in the U.S. people are now transitioning from addictive prescription opioids (i.e. analgesics) to heroin, and it's becoming a major cause of drug addiction. The new gateway drugs are now the "legal" pain killers like OxyContin and psychiatric drugs, both which can be highly addictive.
As of June 2015, 23 States had some form of legal marijuana use, plus the District of Columbia and other states have ballot initiatives coming up for the 2016 election. If states are the laboratories of democracy, then I say the people have spoken. There are 5 countries where marijuana is legal, and 10 nations including Canada and Mexico are pushing for a global legalization of marijuana.
It is now time to completely end the "war on drugs" and legalize marijuana.