The war on drugs

Prisons, profiling and propaganda: Salon's coverage of the U.S. government crackdown on illegal-substance abuse and the drug trade.


Salon Staff
May 2, 2000 8:00PM (UTC)



Much has changed since President Richard Nixon launched a "war on drugs" in the 1970s. The U.S. government's aggressive efforts to crack down on illegal drug use have evolved in recent years to encompass everything from television programming to foreign policy.

Salon's exclusive investigative report by Daniel Forbes details the arrangement that White House officials made with Hollywood script writers and high-profile magazines to encourage anti-drug messages in their content, in exchange for financial incentives from the Clinton administration.

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Many blame the war on drugs for a host of societal ills, including racial profiling, violation of privacy and civil liberties and a burgeoning prison population. Critics say the only cure for the blight of drug addiction is treatment, not incarceration. But the drug war's defenders say their efforts have brought down drug abuse and the violent crime it engenders.

Meanwhile, America's drug war extends to other drug-producing countries, heavily influencing our policy toward Colombia, Peru and Mexico. How far will the administration go to combat illegal-drug use, and is the war on drugs worth the cost? Read Salon's coverage.

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SALON SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE SERIES

Prime-time propaganda

How the U.S. secretly paid Hollywood to put anti-drug propaganda into some of America's most popular TV shows.

By Daniel Forbes

(01/13/00)

Propaganda for dollars

When the White House and the TV networks got together to put anti-drug messages in prime-time television, were they breaking the law?

By Daniel Forbes

(01/14/00)

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Washington script doctors

How the government rewrote an episode of the WB's "Smart Guy."

By Daniel Forbes

(01/15/00)

The drug-war gravy train

How the White House rewarded U.S. News, Seventeen and other magazines for publishing anti-drug articles.

By Daniel Forbes

(03/31/00)

White House blasts Salon

Drug policy spokesman responds to Daniel Forbes' report on the government's anti-drug messages in American media, and Forbes replies.

(04/20/00)

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