The War on Drugs as we know it, today, “officially” began in 1973 when with passage of New York’s strict sentencing guidelines “known as the ‘Rockefeller drug laws’ — after their champion, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller — that put even low-level criminals behind bars for decades,” according to Brian Mann’s NPR story, today, “The Drug Laws That Changed How We Punish.” Until this sudden, about-face, Governor Rockefeller had been “a champion of drug rehabilitation, job training and housing” as the answer to drug-related crime. “He saw drugs as a social problem, not a criminal one,” says Mann.
So why the Directional Shift in Governor Rockefeller’s War on Drugs?
So what happened to change the Governor’s mind? And how did the “Rockefeller Drug Laws” so radically change our sentencing laws. How successful have these laws been in the war on drugs?
For the print copy of Brian Mann’s story, click here.
For a podcast of the story, click here. Just 7 minutes and 47 seconds long – it goes a long way to helping us understand the history and from there opening our minds to what we should / could be doing instead.