America's War On Drugs 50 Years Later : Consider This from NPR In June 1971, then-President Richard Nixon said the U.S. had a new public enemy number one: addiction. It was the beginning of America's long war on drugs.

Fifty years later, during months of interviews, NPR found a growing consensus across the political spectrum — including among some in law enforcement — that the drug war simply didn't work.

The stories in this episode are from NPR's Brian Mann and Eric Westervelt as part of a special series: The War On Drugs: 50 Years Later.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

50 Years Later, Is America's War On Drugs At A Turning Point?

50 Years Later, Is America's War On Drugs At A Turning Point?

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Then-President Richard Nixon explains aspects of the special message sent to the Congress on June 17, 1971, asking for an extra $155 million for a new program to combat the use of drugs. He labeled drug abuse "a national emergency." Harvey Georges/AP hide caption

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Harvey Georges/AP

Then-President Richard Nixon explains aspects of the special message sent to the Congress on June 17, 1971, asking for an extra $155 million for a new program to combat the use of drugs. He labeled drug abuse "a national emergency."

Harvey Georges/AP

In June 1971, then-President Richard Nixon said the U.S. had a new public enemy number one: addiction. It was the beginning of America's long war on drugs.

Fifty years later, during months of interviews, NPR found a growing consensus across the political spectrum — including among some in law enforcement — that the drug war simply didn't work.

The stories in this episode are from NPR's Brian Mann and Eric Westervelt as part of a special series: The War On Drugs: 50 Years Later.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Lee Hale, Brent Baughman, and Samantha Balaban. It was edited by Sami Yenigun with help from Wynne Davis. Additional editing from Brian Mann, Eric Westervelt, Andrea De Leon, and Tanya Ballard Brown. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.