“In 1951, Congress established mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes. Named for its sponsor, Representative Hale Boggs (D-La.), the Boggs Act imposed two-to-five year minimum sentences for first offenses, including simple possession. The Act made no distinction between drug users and drug traffickers for purposes of sentencing.
The driving force behind the Boggs Act was a mistaken belief that drug addiction was a contagious and perhaps incurable disease and that addicts should be quarantined and forced to undergo treatment.”
Families Against Mandatory Minimums Correcting Course: Lessons from the 1970 Repeal of Mandatory Minimums, 2008