Drug Prohibition’s effect on American Race Relations

by | March 15, 2020

Arrests for drug offenses are notoriously discretionary, which can conceivably allow law enforcement to target a particular ethnic group.

Video: Prohibition of Drugs + Downside on Racial Relations; Negative Effects of Enforcement Policies (8 min)

The one thing I desire for society is equality of opportunity, I don’t believe in rules for thee, but not for me.
Well, maybe for me specifically, especially speeding on empty road … but I digress.

Now, let me preface this. I have spoken to members of the LAPD, who have told me that there is less political pushback when they make drug busts in poor neighborhoods, versus going and rounding-up UCLA students in Westwood who might use at the same rates. 

It might not be as much racism as an unfair application of the law against those lower on the socio-economic scale, in effort to bolster crime statistics against those less able to fight back legally.

Additionally, when activists yell about the disparity in crack cocaine arrests, as they are predominately black, they leave out the fact that most arrests for meth, a “white drug” are mostly caucasian.

Nevertheless, I’m going to work under the presupposition that all the facts and figures from the left-leaning sources I’ve taken them from, are in fact correct, because whether they are or are not, this is what is being sold to the public at large, and, guess what, the solution to all this is simple.  

police arrest drug dealer

Imprisonment and Stereotyping

According to the left leaning sources I referenced a second ago, Black people are over ten times more likely to be imprisoned for drug offenses than whites.
Arrests for drug offenses are notoriously discretionary, which can conceivably allow law enforcement to target a particular ethnic group. Some federal grants, previously required police to make more drug arrests in order to obtain increased funding for anti-drug efforts. A perverse incentive of course.
A retired police major from Maryland, now an executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said minority communities (or again, the lower socio-economic strata of society) are “the low-hanging fruit” for police departments because they tend to sell in open-air markets, such as public street corners, and have less political and financial power.

And when such statistics of incarceration start making their media rounds, it does help foster a negative stereotype with whatever ethnic group is found guilty of felonies at disproportionate rates.

The large number of black and Hispanic individuals incarcerated in the criminal justice system, for instance, has led to protests and “super fun” social movements, such as Black Lives Matter, and lord knows that group is helping bring about peace, social cohesion, and healing to society.

Sadly, many lower income individuals see the potential profits from the drug trade as a way out, an avenue to help their family, to earn some street cred, to have an adventure.

I myself, when I was a broke college student, was offered $300, a mountain of money for me at the time, to transport shrooms and LSD tablets 50 miles. The money was frankly so much, that it turned into an itch of the mind I wanted to scratch sooo badly. I decided against it, partly in part because I felt I had a compelling future, and that it wasn’t worth the risk. 

Those who choose to make such a run, if successful, will invariably return for more of the “easy” money, and likely get caught up in the tornado.  

Invariably their path turns dark- Whether it’s becoming a hardened criminal by being incarcerated with career felons, or murdered on the streets of Chicago.

Not to mention the collateral damage created in the communities. I doubt there is a person out there who doesn’t find it tragic when a 9 year old girl dies of an errant bullet through her window.

Legalization removes a whole set of laws that are used to disproportionately bring black people into contact with the criminal justice system. It would help to redress the over representation of black drug offenders in prison. It would lessen inner city crime and bring down the murder rates and the tragedy that goes along with it. 

It’s not a cure all, but it does take a giant bite out of crime. (McGruff)

Now, I can hear some people, on the conservative side of the aisle, complaining that my proposal of legalization which I believe would have the added benefit of ameliorating some of the racial tensions in our society, the equivalent of outright stopping school suspensions for races which, due to their own individual errant behavior, in order to bring equity between races on said front. Which of course does nothing to solve the behavioral problem, which they are correct about, just artificially masks the statistic so that politicians can use it for virtue signaling purposes.

That’s not the case here, we are removing the financial incentives that create the criminal behavior. If sugar attracts ants into the kitchen, and in this case it’s drug profits, we aren’t using Raid to kill the ants, we aren’t saying, “Stop counting the ants so we can pretend the problem doesn’t exist!” we’re cleaning up the sugar so the ants have no reason to invade our house. And since no more harm is coming to the ants, who are black in color, we are depriving Black Lives Matter fodder for their divisive ideological movement.
We eliminate future costs by keeping inner city youths out of contact with prisons and hardened criminals. Respect for law enforcement will rise, and race relations will mend, maybe we’ll even remember that we twice voted in a black President, rather than these continual claims about how racist America is.
I look forward to that day.  


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