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drug war propaganda theme 3 - survival of society

Themes in Chemical Prohibition: Sec 3
NIDA: Themes in Chemical Prohibition, William L. White, 1979

3. Survival of the Culture is Pictured as Dependent on Prohibition or Continued Prohibition of the Drug

Society, Nation, Country
US flag reads: We the People Stay Drug Free
"...elimination of the drug and its use is thus characterized as crucial for the survival of the culture"

Implicit in the attribution of society's problems to the use of particular chemicals is the assumption and implication that these problems will disappear as prohibition becomes effective The elimination of the drug and its use is thus characterized as crucial for the survival of the culture. Such claims have been characteristic of nearly all prohibitionist movements. For example, the following editorial warning appeared in the New York Times on June 28, 1884:

  • The decadence of Spain began when the Spaniards adopted cigarettes, and if this pernicious practice obtains among adult Americans the Ruin of the Republic is at hand. 31
  • Drug-Free AUSTRALIA, wrapped in the flag, carrying cross
    Scotland Against Drugs (For Punishment)
    Drug-Free AMERICA, wrapped in the flag - carrying star-formed cross, too
    the idea is to associate prohibition with community, nation, etc.

    Purley Baker writing in the Anti-Saloon League Yearbook of 1914 implores: "If our Republic is to be saved, the liquor traffic must be destroyed,"32 and Henry Ford speaking in support of alcohol prohibition stated the following in 1928:
  • "If the law were changed, we'd have to shut down our plants. Everything in the United States is keyed up to a new pace which started with Prohibition. The speed at which we run our motor cars, operate our intricate machinery, and generally live, would be impossible with liquor. No, there is no chance even for modification."33
  • (below) From the intro of the movie, "Reefer Madness" (1936). Richard Nixon echoes Reefer Madness with the same wording, declaring "drugs" to be "Public Enemy Number One" -- just like the movie, 35 years earlier.
    Marihuana is America's Public Enemy Number One!

    Such pronouncements on the presently illicit drugs have been echoed through the past decades perhaps culminating in the announcement by then President Richard M. Nixon in June, 1971 that "The problem has assumed the dimensions of a national emergency . . . America's Public Enemy No. 1 is drug abuse."34

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