Gerald Ford on Drugs

President of the U.S., 1974-1977; Republican Rep. (MI)


Mandatory sentences for sale of hard drugs

The sale of hard drugs is tragically on the increase again. I have directed all agencies of the Federal Government to step up law enforcement efforts against those who deal in drugs. In 1975, I am glad to report, Federal agents seized substantially more heroin coming into our country than in 1974.

As President, I have talked personally with the leaders of Mexico, Colombia, and Turkey to urge greater efforts by their Governments to control effectively the production and shipment of hard drugs.

I recommended months ago that the Congress enact mandatory fixed sentences for persons convicted of Federal crimes involving the sale of hard drugs. Hard drugs, we all know, degrade the spirit as they destroy the body of their users.

Source: Pres. Ford's 1976 State of the Union message to Congress , Jan 19, 1976

Mandatory sentencing for federal drug offenders

I sent a special message up to Capitol Hill. "For too long", I said, "the law has centered its attention more of the right of the criminal than on the victim of crime. It is high time that we reverse this trend."

I suggested mandatory prison terms for federal offenses committed with firearms or other dangerous weapons, and the same for hijackers, kidnapers and traffickers in hard drugs. Fines or prison terms, I added, should relate directly to the gravity of the offense. Fines were woefully low and did nothing to deter offenders whose business was crime. For antitrust legislation, I recommended that maximum fines be increased to $100,000 for an organization, to make the penalty commensurate with the crime.

Source: A Time To Heal, by Gerald Ford, p.292 , Jun 19, 1975

Mandatory 5-year minimum sentence for 4 ounces of heroin

Rep. Ford co-sponsored H.R.5946, the Heroin Trafficking Act:
Source: Bill sponsorship archives from the Library of Congress , Mar 21, 1973

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022