George H. W. Bush: The Last American Drug Warrior President

Infamously, President Bush convened a live TV press conference in September 1989 where he held up for the cameras a small bag of crack cocaine.

By every measure, America’s 41st president George Herbert Walker Bush, who passed away Nov. 30, was a fine man, father, patriot, civil servant and elected policy maker. He was decent and moderate, certainly by today’s standards.

However, likely due more to his age than social disposition, President Bush was the last great standard bearer of American presidents who publicly proclaimed the absurd idea that a “War on Drugs will be won.” After Bush Sr., such fanciful notions were never heard again from Baby Boomer presidents Bill Clinton, G. W. Bush, Barack Obama or Donald Trump, and are no longer part of the American political lexicon.

As a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and Ronald Reagan’s Vice President (from 1981-1988), President Bush was a committed drug warrior in the worst way, overseeing during his tenure as president the implementation of Reagan’s Just Say No drug war by dutifully rolling out mass drug testing, controversial civil forfeiture enforcement, enhanced policing and the ensuing swelling of prosecutions and incarcerations.

The Bush administration was responsible for

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