Unpacking the Nixon Tapes: The Meaning of Marijuana for the U.S. Presidential Administration Which Created and Placed It in Schedule I
July 1st, 2015
In 1970, the Administration of United States President Richard Milhous Nixon drafted and successfully lobbied for ‘substance control’ legislation still in force today that forms the ideological basis of American national policy towards cannabis and psychedelics. The legislation implicitly encoded racist, homophobic, and bigoted views. While prejudicial views were not immediately obvious on the surface, as they were clothed in medical science and a structured review process, they were indeed present at the law’s inception and in its subsequent enforcement. We know this to be true, not only because such legislation marked a continuation of the same century-old pattern of authoritarian hatred towards psychoactive substance use behaviors in certain socially maligned groups, but also because the documented historical record shows that key members of the Nixon Administration, including Nixon himself, privately made their true ulterior intentions explicitly known.