In a new best-selling book, Ohio State University law professor Michelle Alexander asserts that the war on drugs, including on marijuana, is a system of racial control comparable to slavery. The get tough approach on drugs begun in the Nixon administration, and intensified every year, including under Obama, falls hardest on black America.
Using statistics and case-law, Alexander shows that the drug war is stacked against African-Americans. One-third of black of all black Americans will spend time in prison, and when then get out, they will never be able to catch up with their white peers. A criminal drug record means job discrimination, inability to vote or hold office, expulsion from school and loss of student loans and scholarships, and even termination of food stamps and public housing.
In D.C., we see the war on drugs fall disproportionately on people of color. Is that because cops and prosecutors intentionally discriminate? Probably not. But there are no “jump-out” squads or “observation posts” in predominately white neighborhoods. Motorists are not stopped for “driving while white,” but plenty are stopped for “driving while black.”
Indeed, the Maryland State Police, which agreed to stop racial profiling in traffic stops to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit is now battling in court to keep secret recent racial profiling data. If the Maryland State Police has stopped racial profiling, why not release the statistics?
Categories: Marijuana Laws