About the Drug Enforcement
The tradition of federal drug law enforcement began in 1915 with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
In the following decades, several federal agencies had drug law enforcement responsibilities. By the 1960s, the two agencies
charged with drug law enforcement were the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control (BDAC) and the federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN).
In 1968, with the introduction into Congress of Reorganization
Plan No. 1, President Johnson proposed combining two agencies into a third new drug enforcement agency. The action merged
the Bureau of Narcotics, in the Treasury Department, which was responsible for the control of marijuana and narcotics such
as heroin, with the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control (BDAC), in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which was responsible
for the control of dangerous drugs, including depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens, such as LSD. The new agency, the
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), was placed under the Department of Justice, which is the government agency
primarily concerned with federal law enforcement.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon declared "an
all-out global war on the drug menace" and sent Reorganization Plan No. 2 to Congress. "Right now," he pointed
out, "the federal government is fighting the war on drug abuse under a distinct handicap, for its efforts are those of
a loosely confederated alliance facing a resourceful, elusive, worldwide enemy. Certainly, the cold- blooded underworld networks
that funnel narcotics from suppliers all over the world are no respecters of the bureaucratic dividing lines that now complicate
our anti-drug efforts."
When John R. Bartels, Jr., was confirmed as the DEA's
first Administrator on October 4, 1973, he had two goals for the new agency: (1) to integrate narcotics agents and U.S. Customs
agents into one effective force; and (2) to restore public confidence in narcotics law enforcement.”