The way political opposition forces for thousands of years operated by prohibiting only CERTAIN drugs and criminalizing them in attempts to rise or stay in power, is the same way Conservatives, Republicans and others are doing today: criminalize otherwise law-abiding citizens so that many of their political enemies are neutralized and/or silenced.
The War on Drugs started (really its been about 80 years) with a corrupt Republican politician named Richard Nixon, who spied on his enemies and focused on eliminating them by locking them up over simple drug violations. I, supposedly a “good” Conservative Republican (only vote that way because Democrats are worse) supported the War on Drugs. I changed over the years to only wanting to decriminalize Cannabis, but keeping other already illegal drugs illicit, then to legalizing Cannabis but still keeping other illicit drugs illegal, to now knowing I was WRONG about the entire subject and believe ALL drugs now criminalized should be legal so that government regulates them, instead of the ruthless Drug Cartels.
What all of us need to do is ask the two simple, basic questions that should determine whether or not we should support a law or not. The first basic question is whether the law we support is Constitutional – especially from the standpoint of looking at the law from the viewpoint of Freedom of Religion, Speech and Assembly. The War on Drugs FAILS at protecting all three of these precious rights. Secondly, does the law fulfill the basic premise of Government that it does NOT deprive someone of their pursuit of happiness that all are guaranteed, as long as what they are pursuing doesn’t harm someone else? The War on Drugs FAILS at this very basic question of the very foundation of why Government exists in the first place.
From the start, U.S. Drug Policy was determined along racial lines, with the first law banning opium smoking in the late 1800s because it was the favorite of Chinese laborers who were brought here to build the railroads, even though White folks used opium too, but they sipped it in their drinks, which was considered perfectly acceptable.
Cocaine was also a popular drug in the late 19th Century, with cigarettes treated with it, medicines derived from it and even the Sears catalogue offering it for sale. But when the Journal of the American Medical Association published an editorial on cocaine use among blacks in the South, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a racist named Dr. Hamilton Wright to head up his version of the War on Drugs. Wright stirred up anti-black and anti-Latino sentiments.
Nelson Rockefeller, longtime New York governor is widely remembered as the architect of New York’s draconian drug laws enacted in 1973 mandating that possession of even small amounts of cocaine or heroin be punished with minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison—even for those with no prior record.
As a result of these laws, some 200,000 men, women and children were condemned to spend decades in prison. Today, nearly 90% of those incarcerated in New York on drug charges are black or Latino, and the Rockefeller laws became the model for drug laws all across the country that eventually imprisoned hundreds of thousands more in the racist War on drugs. The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. has grown eightfold since 1970, with 2.3 million behind bars today — 70% of them Black or Latino.
A 2009 report by the New York Civil Liberties Union said that the Rockefeller laws are “New York’s Jim Crow Laws.” In the 1950s, when Jim Crow segregation was still legal in the South, Black Americans made up 30% of the national prison population. But today, as a result of the War on Drugs, Blacks, which account for only 13% of the U.S. population, make up over 50% of prison inmates, eight times the rate of imprisonment for Whites. And according to a 2007 Justice Policy Institute report, Black men are sent to prison on drug charges at ten times the rate of white men, even though their drug use is about the same.
Thanks for listening, 777denny
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