How Our War on Drugs Undermines Mexico

The continued dominance of multi-billion dollar Mexican drug cartels is linked to aggressive drug policies of the U.S. in the 1960s and '70s


This post is in partnership with theHistory News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published atHNN.

This June marks 44 years since President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs, marking an unprecedented mobilization of U.S. resources to combat the drug trade domestically and abroad. The reason? A fear that narcotics use, especially during the Vietnam War era, posed a grave threat to society. Or perhaps, more accurately, drugs threatened authority figures during a period of large-scale revolution against social norms across much of the western world.

With a perceived increase in U.S. drug use, Nixon deployed the now ubiquitous war on drugs metaphor to generate increased funding for drug control. “Public enemy...

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