Was Nixon's war on drugs a racially motivated crusade?

It's a bit more complicated...
Vox (US)
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Last week, the internet exploded with a fairly shocking allegation: President Richard Nixon began America's war on drugs to criminalize black people and hippies, according to a newly revealed 1994 quote from Nixon domestic policy adviser John Ehrlichman. But Ehrlichman's claim is likely an oversimplification, according to historians who have studied the period and Nixon's drug policies in particular. Nixon's drug war was largely a public health crusade — one that would be reshaped into the modern, punitive drug war by later administrations, particularly President Ronald Reagan. (See Dan Baum article in Harpers Magazine)