The NAACP has come out forcefully against the War on Drugs:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) passed a resolution Tuesday calling for an end to the “War on Drugs” during their 102tn NAACP Annual Convention in Los Angeles, CA.
“Today the NAACP has taken a major step towards equity, justice and effective law enforcement,” said NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous. “These flawed drug policies that have been mostly enforced in African American communities must be stopped and replaced with evidenced-based practices that address the root causes of drug use and abuse in America.”
The resolution, titled “A Call to End the War on Drugs, Allocate Funding to Investigate Substance Abuse Treatment, Education, and Opportunities in Communities of Color for A Better Tomorrow” highlighted the fact that the United States spends $40 billion each year fighting the drug war and that African-Americans are 13 times more likely to end up in jail for drug-related crimes than their white counterparts.
“Studies show that all racial groups abuse drugs at similar rates, but the numbers also show that African Americans, Hispanics and other people of color are stopped, searched, arrested, charged, convicted, and sent to prison for drug-related charges at a much higher rate,” said Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP. “This dual system of drug law enforcement that serves to keep African-Americans and other minorities under lock and key and in prison must be exposed and eradicated.”
Conor Friedersdorf writes:
That's a good reason to oppose the War on Drugs, especially if you're an organization dedicated to the advancement of blacks. There is no single policy doing more harm to that community. But even if there were no racial disparities in its application, The War on Drugs would be a failure that hasn't stopped drug use or abuse. It has, however, cost countless billions, spawned a violent black market in American cities, fueled the rise of violent cartels that have destabilized whole countries, and eroded the civil liberties of all Americans -- among many other unintended consequences.
Too true. The bright future that loomed on the horizon for black people after passage of the Civil Rights Act was quickly clouded by Nixon’s launch of the War on Drugs. There are many reasons for disparity of wealth and resources in this country, but certainly the War on Drugs is one of them. Charts like this are simply an illustration of the shamefulness of policies like the War on Drugs which disproportionally target blacks and Hispanics:
Not only do recessions hit minorities much harder than they hit whites, pre-recession conditions aren’t much better. Anything that excacerbates this state of affairs is a serious problem. The War on Drugs has been the greatest force of inertia in black communities since the Civil Rights Act. It’s time to call a truce.