The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was founded in 1930 by the Department of the Treasury to assume enforcement of the provisions of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. Anslinger was appointed its first commissioner.
The FBN was divided into 15 Districts that mirrored the districts for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. There were 271 agents, 426 office employees, and a budget of $1,712,998.
Anslinger managed the FBN throughout the Great Depression. He was commended for his ability to prioritize as the agency’s budget shrank exponentially due to the limited resources of the government at the time.
"His actions merited a medal of honor for his advanced thought that resulted in the U.S. having a supply of narcotic drugs throughout the World War II period sufficient for civilian needs, for the Armed Services, and the needs of our Allies.”
-Missouri Congressman John Cochran