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INTRODUCTION President Richard M Nixon signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act on October 27th 1970 Moments later he turned the law over to Attorney General John Mitchell head of the Justice Department at the time who was directed to head the federal drug-law enforcement effort The act which is known as the Controlled Substance Act sets guidelines for the distribution of more than 20000 drugs and establishes penalties for individuals convicted of illegal drug trafficking The DEA Drug Enforcement Agency was established in July 1973 under the Presidential Reorganization Plan Number 2 The agency combined the responsibilities duties and staffs of five agencies that although performed their jobs at the fullest extent of the law had some pretty serious problems through the years In 1973 the DEA had only 1470 personnel working for them in the first 6 yrs Today the Agency has more than 9000 personnel including Special Agents Lab and Information Analysts even lawyers working their hardest to keep drug sales and usage to a minimum The Beginning The writer Benjamin Nelson writes The passage of the Controlled Substances Act highlighted that the drug problem had become a major political issue It was the reason for the creation of five new drug-related agencies committees and organizations The agents of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs continued to serve as federal police but other groups also became involved in interrupting the drug trade 48 Three of the most important of these groups were formed in 1972 The Office of National Narcotics Intelligence the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement both part of the Justice Department and the Narcotics Advance Research Management Team All of these groups collected data on drug use researched drug abuse prevention methods and treatment programs and carried out law enforcement measures The US Customs Service which is part of the Treasury Department also had a special Drug Investigations Unit to deal with drug
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