“For decades, the war on drugs has been characterized by ‘stop and frisk,’ militarized raids on people’s homes, and prison sentences that can span decades or lifetimes.
“This was all under the encouragement of the president. Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs. Ronald Reagan escalated the war with ‘tough on crime’ mandatory minimum sentences. George H.W. Bush gave his first televised national address on drugs, telling the country that drugs are ‘the greatest domestic threat facing our nation today’ while holding up a bag of seized cocaine. Bill Clinton signed laws that pushed for tougher prison sentences and stripped prison inmates of much of their legal defense rights.
“Then came hope and change.”