Background on Drugs

Drug topics in the 2020 election cycle:

Imprisonment vs. Decriminalization

State legalization: legalizing marijuana banking

Sentencing disparities

Drug gangs and anti-drug programs
2015 Drug War updated topics: President Bush Senior initiated the ‘War on Drugs’ in the late 1980s. The Office of National Drug Control Policy, directed by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske , sets federal policy.

Reducing the Demand
Methods of reducing drug demand include: random drug testing; increased incarceration of users; and drug education. Since 1986, the courts have upheld random drug testing for federal employees; high school students; job applicants; transportation employees; motorists; and others. The current stated federal goal is a ‘Drug-Free Workplace.’

Reducing the Supply
Methods of reducing drug supply include: increased border patrols; increased enforcement against drug traffickers at home; and pressuring Latin American countries to do the same abroad. Federal ‘counterdrug interdiction’ currently focuses on five ‘High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas’: Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Houston, and the Southwest border with Mexico.

Reducing the Effects
Methods of reducing drugs’ effects on society include: legalization; drug abuse treatment; and needle exchange programs. At congressional hearings on ‘The Pros and Cons of Drug Legalization, Decriminalization, and Harm Reduction’ in June 1999, the federal government reiterated its opposition to legalization, medical marijuana, and needle exchanges, and emphasized that the War on Drugs is an unending effort.

Drug War Buzzwords

Amendment XVIII and XXI to the US Constitution
18) ...the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors... is hereby prohibited. (1919)
21) The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.... (1933)

Background documents

Click here for Amazon books on Drugs
Pro Drug War
Drug War textbook
Racism in Drug War
Anti Prohibition
Medical Marijuana

Click here for references and citations books on Drugs.

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Criminal Justice DrugFacts", June 2020
  • Turnbridge Young Adult Rehab Center, "Should Drug Addicts Go To Jail? This Study Says No," July 2017
  • NCBI National Institutes of Health, "Legalization, Decriminalization & Medicinal Use of Cannabis," 2012 Mar-Apr
  • National Law Review, "Marijuana Legalization Update for 2020: A Primer on the Latest Medicinal and Recreational Use News," M. Tae Phillips, September 10, 2020
  • O.Berk, "Marijuana Legality by State: A Comprehensive Interactive Map," August 1, 2019
  • American Bar Association Journal, "Fairness is an issue in clearing low-level marijuana convictions," by Stephanie Zimmermann, April 1, 2020
  • Marijuana Moment, "Vice President Pence Slams Marijuana Banking Provisions In Democrats' COVID Bill," by Kyle Jaeger, August 11, 2020
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana, "Support The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act)," 03/26/19
  •, "Why The SAFE Banking Act Won't Solve All Cannabis' Payment Problems," October 7, 2019
  • Criminal Defense Lawyer, "Crack vs. Powder Cocaine: One Drug, Two Penalties," by Deborah C. England, downloaded Oct. 2020
  • American Bar Association Journal, "Crack cocaine quantities at issue as DOJ opposes some early releases under First Step Act," by Debra Cassens Weiss, November 8, 2019
  •, "5 Times the MS13 Tried--and Failed--to Become Drug Traffickers," by Parker Asmann, Aug. 11, 2020
  • BeBest, "First Lady Melania Trump's Initiative," White House website, downloaded Oct. 2020
  • White House press release, "Readout from First Lady Melania Trump's Second Opioid Town Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada," March 5, 2019
  • Universtiy of Vermont, "The Effectiveness of Needle Exchange Programs", by Paul Kapsch, Matt Landi, Sarah Schwartz, April 8, 1999
  • NCBI (NLM/NIH), "Preventing HIV Transmission: The Role of Sterile Needles and Bleach," by Normand J, Vlahov D, Moses LE, 1995.
  • Other candidates on Drugs: Background on other issues:
    2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

    2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
    CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
    V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
    Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
    V.C.Arvin Vohra (L-MD)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld (L-MA)

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
    Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
    Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
    Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
    Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
    Civil Rights
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    War & Peace