Since the 1970s, U.S. drug sanctions, enforcement, and prison time have escalated. Nixon launched the "War on Drugs" in June 1971 and boosted money for drug control and treatment. ODALE, BND, and ONI became DEA in 1973. (ONI). Before 1981, the War on Drugs was limited.
Reagan boosted the number of drug-related prisoners from 50,000 to 400,000. Nancy led 1984's "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign.
Crack epidemic in the 1980s sparked the War on Drugs. Drug fear boosted Reagan's popularity. The 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act jailed drug offenders. $1.7 billion was promised to battle narcotics. In places with obligatory minimums, 5 g of crack or 500 g of powder cocaine carries a 5-year sentence. 80% of crack users were black, therefore minimums favoured discrimination claims.
Ineffectiveness and racial imbalance eroded support for the War on Drugs' stronger policies by the 21st century. Several states legalized recreational marijuana, and the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 cut crack and powder possession minimums from 100 to 1. 2018 lowered crack penalties. The Drug War continues, although less severely than in the 1980s.