…they might be right. John Ehrlichman, Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President Richard Nixon:
The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
Decriminalize drugs now.
The infamous Robert Bork in one of his books justified the war on drugs as a war on “the counterculture”: the reason drugs were criminalized was to criminalize and thereby disenfranchise the new left, and this was an eminently laudable goal according to Bork.
Or as Eric Cartman unforgettably put it: “Mr. Garrison, I know why drugs are bad! Because if you use drugs you’re a hippie, and hippies suck.”
Fun fact: “Ehrlich” means “honest” in German.